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In response to Aimee Ballantyne’s recent critique of my Letter to the Editor published in SFGN on May 10, I stand by my opinion that cars alone cannot meet all our transit needs.

I also remain open to a healthy debate among my neighbors when we do not agree on a particular issue. The strength of Wilton Manors and the one for which I am most proud is our diversity, which includes the opinion of each member of our community regardless of their age, socioeconomic status or health.

We must embrace other modes of transportation as we continue to evolve and thrive as a community. That is not to say we should abandon the automobile and those who rely on it. Automobiles are and will remain a vital part of our community for our many of our residents, visitors, ride-sharing apps and emergency services. However, we should consider the benefits of walkability and alternative transit choices for current and future residents of any age.  
As I mentioned in my initial letter, approximately half of all car owners in the U.S. are over age 60. While my statistics referenced age, Aimee’s assumption that I don’t care about our active aging residents is absolutely incorrect. I probably should have shared that about 12% of Americans over 65 don't own a car, either

While I recognize that Aimee may find it easiest to travel by car, there are many seniors in our community who are unable to drive due to a handicap (I.e., vision impairment), cannot afford a car, or simply choose not to drive. Lastly, our vibrant active aging community is filled with residents over 60 who walk or ride a bike for health benefits. Walkability and transit options are critical components of their quality of life. 
Focusing on pedestrian accessibility and walkability for everyone, including those with disabilities, is needed. Numerous residents have shared their frustration with sidewalks which are difficult or unsafe to navigate due to obstructions. The Lazy Lake sidewalk is a prime example. Ensuring ADA-compliant sidewalks exist that allow access and usage for mobility aids, wheelchairs and mobility scooters is important for our active aging residents. 
Aimee, I appreciate your input and value you as a resident. Walkability matters to residents at an age and that matters to me. I hope that you will join me in advocating for alternative forms of transportation and better walkability for Wilton Manors residents, and not just those that drive. Life is just better here, regardless of your age or how you choose to get around

- Chris Caputo, Wilton Manors Commissioner


Letter to Editor | There are 3 Kinds of Lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics