Intersection Access

TRB is offering reduced price workshops on analyzing and designing roundabouts and channelized turn lanes to be usable by people who are blind or have low vision.

Workshop content will be based on the findings and methodologies of NCHRP Report 834 — Crossing Solutions at Roundabouts and Channelized Turn Lanes for Pedestrians with Vision Disabilities: A Guidebook. Workshops will be presented by members of the NCHRP Report 834 team.

THE ACCESSIBILITY CHALLENGE

All newly constructed or renovated facilities must meet the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), to be "accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities" (Title II, 35.151 New Construction and Alterations). Within public rights-of-way, facilities such as sidewalk and street crossings, including signal equipment, should be designed in accordance with the proposed Accessibility Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities in the Public Right-of-Way (2011) (proposed PROWAG), or subsequent finalized guidance or standards that may be published in the future.

The accessibility of modern roundabouts and intersections with channelized (right) turn lanes is an important civil rights challenge in the United States that has broad potential implications for engineering practice in this country. In general, these facilities are challenging for blind people because of curved geometry and vehicle paths, yield control, and atypical noise patterns.

Proposed PROWAG requires pedestrian-activated signals at multilane roundabout crossings, along with options for equivalent facilitation. Municipalities and state DOTs need more specific guidance on other options that may constitute equivalent facilitation to pedestrians with vision disabilities at these intersection types.

This workshop will describe accessibility issues experienced by blind pedestrians and present design techniques and treatments to provide information needed for wayfinding and crossing by people who are blind. This workshop provides information about a performance-based assessment process for accessibility. It also presents equivalent facilitation treatments to establish access to these facilities for people who are blind, while reducing installation cost and impact to vehicular traffic compared to a pedestrian-activated signal.