Stories by Henry Claypool

Expert Voices

How road and sidewalk repairs can incorporate accessible design

Illustrated collage including elements of road infrastructure
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Amid a decline in infrastructure spending, cities and local transportation agencies still pull together funding to address current and future transportation needs — but they could be taking on more ambitious updates.

Why it matters: Beyond repairing and improving roads and sidewalks, cities have an opportunity to build infrastructure that could open up alternative mobility options and increase accessibility for all.

Expert Voices

An aging population could increase demand for autonomous vehicles

Illustration of a pocket watch with a car reflected in its face
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the U.S. population ages, the number of people with travel-limiting disabilities is projected to increase dramatically, which could drive up demand for accessible autonomous vehicles.

The big picture: Retirement communities are expecting an influx of new residents, many of whom are likely to be non-drivers and require transportation to maintain their independence. The demand for AVs, if they're accessible, could explode.

Expert Voices

Ridesharing's accessibility struggles could have consequences for AVs

A van with Lyft and Uber window stickers moves through traffic in Manhattan
A car with Lyft and Uber window stickers moves through traffic in Manhattan. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Even as ridesharing companies expand their offerings and look towards AV deployment, many people with disabilities are still unable to access today's shared vehicles.

Why it matters: Ridesharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft, formed their business models and then — belatedly, allege critics — began addressing accessibility challenges, a strategy that could hinder disability access to AVs in the future.