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Asheville, NC, United States

Salamati K.,North Carolina State University | Schroeder B.,North Carolina State University | Rouphail N.M.,North Carolina State University | Cunningham C.,North Carolina State University | And 2 more authors.
Transportation Research Record

This paper describes the development and implementation of the conflict-based assessment of pedestrian safety (CAPS) methodology for the evaluation of pedestrian accessibility at complex intersections. Significant research has explored pedestrian access to modern roundabouts and other complex intersections, and a significant focus has been placed on accessibility for pedestrians who were blind. A majority of these studies relied on actual street crossings by study participants under the supervision of a trained orientation and mobility specialist. These crossing studies quantified risk from a measurement of intervention events, in which the orientation and mobility specialist had to physically stop the participant from crossing. Although such studies provide useful data on the crossing risk at a particular intersection, street crossings can be dangerous to the study participants and are time-consuming and expensive to conduct. The CAPS method emphasizes the use of conflict-based safety factors to quantify risk in a framework compatible with indicator studies. This method relates pedestrian crossing decisions to advanced measurements of vehicle dynamics to estimate lane-by-lane conflicts and identifies the grade of conflict on the basis of a five-criterion rating scale. The CAPS framework was applied to a study of crossings by blind pedestrians at a multilane roundabout. The resulting risk scores were calibrated from the actual orientation and mobility interventions observed during the study. The calibrated CAPS framework correctly matched all (high-risk) orientation and mobility intervention events and further identified other (lower-risk) pedestrian-vehicle conflicts. The CAPS framework provides a more efficient, objective, and consistent safety assessment of pedestrian crossings in a research context, without the need for pedestrians to step into the roadway. Source

Barlow J.,Elon University | Scott A.,Elon University | Bentzen B.,Accessible Design for the Blind | Guth D.,Western Michigan University | Graham J.,Graham Rehabilitation Services
Transportation Research Record

This research extends the results of laboratory research on wayfinding at intersections for pedestrians who are blind. Standard accessible pedestrian signals (standard APS), a prototype beaconing APS, and a raised guide strip were evaluated for their ability to assist in establishing and maintaining a heading for street crossings. Experiments were conducted at large, complex signalized intersections in Alpharetta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; and Towson, Maryland. Both the guide strip and the beaconing APS resulted in more accurate street crossing performance than standard APS with respect to alignment (i.e., initial heading) accuracy, rates of being within the crosswalk, distance from the center of the crosswalk at various points during crossing, and the likelihood of being well outside the crosswalk [6 ft (2 m) or more]. For the most part, performance with the guide strip or the beaconing APS was equivalent. Limitations and additional concerns with respect to these two treatments are discussed. Source

Gattis J.,University of Arkansas | Gluck J.,AECOM Technology Corporation | Barlow J.,Accessible Design for the Blind | Eck R.,West Virginia University | And 2 more authors.
Transportation Research Record

NCHRP Project 15-35, Geometric Design of Driveways, was initiated to help address the lack of comprehensive research and national design guidance for the design of driveway connections to roadways. The research initiated with this project included an extensive literature review, a survey of state agencies and contacts with interest groups, and fieldwork to measure traffic attributes. The project produced two publications: a research report on the NCHRP website and NCHRP Report 659: Guide for the Geometric Design of Driveways. This paper considers the following topics: (a) What design issues were identified Current design practices may not adequately consider the range of all driveway users: bicyclists, motorists, and pedestrians. The paper discusses the vulnerability of various users on the basis of historical crash data. (b) What user attributes were found The research produced information about the driveway grades at which the undersides of vehicles may drag and the speeds at which vehicles on urban arterials entered commercial driveways having radii ranging from 13 to 20 ft. (c) What design practices were recommended The guide presents a number of design practices to better meet the needs of all users. This paper provides useful information for design consultants and local government professionals. Source

Crandall B.,Smith Kettlewell Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center | Bentzen B.L.,Accessible Design for the Blind | Myers L.,519 Northern Ave.
International Journal of Emergency Management

Emergency procedures vary according to the type and extent of emergency, size of building, occupancy and type of building construction. There is no agreement on how emergency egress information should be provided for persons who are blind. This research investigated the efficacy of a Braille (Brl) sign, a Raised Print (RP) sign, a Tactile Map (TM), an audible route description activated by a pushbutton and exit signs equipped with Remote Infrared Audible Signage (RIAS) for enabling persons who are blind to travel routes to exits. The efficacy of each format in terms of time to acquire route information and time to travel a route was measured. Blind travellers' perceived needs and desires for obtaining emergency egress information were also investigated. Both RIAS and pushbutton-activated verbal route directions enabled participants to access and use emergency egress information efficiently. Auditory information was preferred above tactile information. Of the tactile formats, Brl resulted in more efficient access to egress information than RP and TMs and was preferred. This research is a first step in addressing the complex issues involved in providing emergency egress information to persons who are blind. Copyright © 2010 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. Source

Scott A.C.,Elon University | Barlow J.M.,Accessible Design for the Blind | Guth D.A.,Western Michigan University | Bentzen B.L.,Director of Research | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness

Five cues were evaluated with respect to their usefulness in directing the headings of pedestrians who were blind during street crossings. The study was conducted at a simulated crosswalk, with the angle of the crosswalk varied relative to the approach and direction of the slope of the ramp. Three cues worked well over the distance equivalent to the width of a six-lane road. © 2011 AFB, All Rights Reserved. Source

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