Explore a series of graphic and illustrated presentations that highlight new approaches to analysis and mapping for transportation frameworks and integrating technologies.
An Intersection Database to Facilitate Access to Complex Signalized Intersections by Pedestrians with Vision Disabilities
David A. Guth, Western Michigan UniversityShow Abstract
Janet Barlow, Accessible Design for the Blind (ADB)
Paul E. Ponchillia, Western Michigan University
Lee A. Rodegerdts, Kittelson & Associates, Inc. (KAI)
Dae Shik Kim, Western Michigan University
Kevin H. Lee, Western Michigan University
A growing number of intersections and crosswalks pose barriers to pedestrians with vision disabilities. This project investigated the effects of providing verbal descriptions of intersections and crosswalks on the performance of street-crossing subtasks by individuals who are totally blind. The authors designed an intersection database containing information relevant to crossing subtasks such as finding and aligning with the crosswalk, deciding when to cross, remaining in the crosswalk, and recognizing the end of a crossing. The authors conducted an experiment with 22 blind adults at two intersections in Portland, Oregon. The intersections included crosswalks that varied widely in geometric and operational characteristics, including the presence or absence of accessibility features. In the no-database condition, participants used their typical street-crossing procedures. In the database-condition, participants additionally listened to database-generated descriptions of the intersections and crosswalks before crossing. The database descriptions had significant positive effects on some subtasks (primarily “crossing” subtasks such as deciding when to cross) and not others (primarily “wayfinding” subtasks such as remaining in the crosswalk). Participants’ reports of the usefulness of specific features of the database were supported by the empirical findings. Implications of the findings for database development, transportation engineers, blind pedestrians, and orientation and mobility specialists are discussed.
Automated Space Clustering In Point Cloud Data to Assess Compliance of Public Roadway Features with the Requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Majid Mastali, Western Michigan UniversityShow Abstract
Jiansong Zhang, Purdue University
Jun-Seok Oh, Western Michigan University
This study uses terrestrial laser scanner and open source processing algorithms to develop an automatic system for the evaluation of transportation infrastructure in accordance with the public rights of way. This research develops a technique to estimate the compliance or noncompliance of specific roadway features with the design standards adopted by the US Access Board and required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) such as the minimum sidewalk width, maximum cross slopes, and presence/absence of pedestrian connectivity by means of automatically extracting roadway features from point cloud data (PCD). We then compare the accuracy and cost efficiency of the automated data with more conventional evaluative techniques to identify their potential risks, gains, and their overall efficacy. Using simplification, optimization, segmentation, and road feature categorization, the collected raw data is processed to results in the identification of the road elements as the road feature objects. By developing a more thorough assessment of the best practices, this research aims to provide communities with the necessary information to plan strategical improvements on their transportation infrastructure for people with limited mobility.
Qualitative Appraisal of Transit Oriented Development Sites: A Fuzzy Multi-Actor, Multi-Criteria Decision Framework
Phani Kumar Patnala, Indian Institute of Technology, RoorkeeShow Abstract
Manoranjan Parida, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
Ravi Sekhar Chalumuri, CSIR-Central Road Research Institute New Delhi
Transit Oriented Development (TOD) planning in developing countries become essential to address urban structure and transportation issues in urban areas. TOD policies and guidelines in developing countries like India, lack of comprehensive decision-making framework to identify the most suitable TOD sites for planning and implementation. Present study fills this gap by employing a fuzzy-multi-actor multi-criteria decision making (FMAMCDM) framework which can handle misleading results of the fuzzy-analytical hierarchical process (FAHP) and involve multiple stakeholder judgments in the decision-making process. The relative importance for nine planning criteria and qualitative performance rating for twenty selected metro stations from three stakeholder groups were analyzed and integrated to estimate a qualitative TOD score. The estimated TOD scores for each metro station were compared with each other to identify and rank the best suitable TOD sites in Delhi, India. Out of 20 selected metro stations as TOD sites, Karol Bagh station is identified as the best TOD site with a TOD score of 7.02, followed by, Janakpuri West, Yamuna Vihar and Pragati Maidan stations with TOD scores of 6.82, 6.49, and 6.48 respectively. The study results were further analyzed to investigate the integration of urban structure and transportation among TOD sites using node-place model. Almost all TOD sites exhibited ‘unsustained places’ with urban structure performance are relatively much more than transit service. The findings of this study is a step forward developing a much needed standard metric tool to assess TOD-ness and can be useful to evaluate the integration of urban structure and transportation system.
Effectiveness Evaluation of Barrier-Free Traffic Facilities for Visually Impaired People: A Case Study in Nanjing, China
Yongfeng Ma, Southeast UniversityShow Abstract
Wenqian Zhang, Southeast University
Kun Tang, Southeast University
Shuyan Chen, Southeast University
Xiaojian Hu, Southeast University
Nan Tao, Southeast University
Evaluating the overall effectiveness of the existing barrier-free traffic facilities for visually impaired people is significantly important for urban barrier-free facilities improvement. Previous studies mostly focused on the traffic facilities providing service for normally sighted people and the qualitative research of barrier-free traffic facilities. Quantitative effectiveness evaluation of barrier-free traffic facilities from the perspective of visually impaired people has been rarely conducted. This study aims to quantitatively investigate the factors that affect the overall effectiveness of the existing barrier-free traffic facilities for visually impaired people. An Ordered Logistic Model is applied in the model analysis. The results reveal some useful information. Among the implemented facilities, the effectiveness of tactile paving, curb ramps, accessible pedestrian signals (APS) and intelligence voice prompts of bus stations are positively correlated with the overall effectiveness of the existing barrier-free traffic facilities. Tactile paving occupied by vehicles and discontinuity are the most serious problems for tactile paving, which significantly decrease the overall effectiveness of the existing barrier-free facilities. In Chinese cities, setting alignment cues at intersections can be introduced to increase the overall effectiveness of barrier-free facilities. The results of this study could provide theoretical basis for the construction, improvement and supplement of barrier-free traffic facilities for visually impaired people. In addition, the construction of barrier-free facilities should focus more on blind people and try to meet the needs of the most vulnerable groups.
Algorithms Comparison of Wheelchair Pathway Serviceability Evaluation
Chiapei Chou, National Taiwan UniversityShow Abstract
Hernan Romero, National Taiwan University
Ai-Chin Chen, National Taiwan University
The wheelchair pathway roughness index of the ASTM is a useful tool for assessing the quality of sidewalks and classifying them from very good to impassable. The WPRI Matlab code was first recoded and tested by the provided sample profile. Computer-generated trigonometric sine waves considering 294 combinations of wave amplitude, wave period length, and data point interval were used for WPRI sensitivity analysis. Apart from the suggested wheelchair caster size of 70 mm, the commonly used caster sizes of 150 and 180 mm were also included in the sensitivity analysis. Findings indicate that large wave period length, small wave amplitude, and large caster size result in low WPRI. This observation is particularly true when the wheelchair caster size is larger than the wave period length. However, a data point interval in the range of 0.5-6 mm inconsiderably affects the WPRI. Taipei City sidewalks were examined by a lightweight inertial profiler for data collection, followed by WPRI analysis. However, sidewalk paving materials of bricks may induce unexpected noises due to the unfilled gaps. This condition will result in biased WPRI for serviceability evaluation. Thus, small-scale subjective panel rating and wheelchair body vibration measurement were conducted for pathway assessment to determine the correlation between the two methods and the WPRI. The acceleration root-mean-square index calculated from the response-based body vibration measurement has better correlation to wheelchair users’ perception than the WPRI. The future study will include sufficient sections and focus on developing a noise elimination algorithm of WPRI for brick paving materials.
Suburban Poverty and Public Transit Use in the San Francisco Bay Area
Sophia Forde, ARUPShow Abstract
The crux of this research was to determine if public transit use is increasing or decreasing among poor commuters, and to evaluate whether or not such trends are consistent across urban, suburban, and rural areas. This study found that poor commuters in the Bay Area region are turning away from public transportation. From 2010-2015, public transit use decreased by -6.7% among poor commuters, and driving increased by 6.3%. At the same time, commuters who were not in poverty decreased their rate of driving by -1.8% and increased their use of public transit by 10.3%. There are several possible explanations for this trend: poorer residents may be getting priced out of transit-rich areas, or they may have new commute patterns that are not well-served by public transportation. The changing demographics of transit use was especially pronounced for suburban areas. Suburbs saw a more extreme drop in public transit use among poor commuters, and a correspondingly higher increase in transit use for non-poor commuters. Suburban areas also saw a more dramatic increase in poverty than the region as a whole. From 2000-2015, the poverty rate in suburban areas increased by 2.4 percentage points, compared to 1.7 percentage points in urban areas and 1.8 percentage points in rural areas. This trend of suburbanized poverty has important implications for transportation policy, as suburban fringe communities are less well-served by fixed-route transit services than the urban core. This research has important implications for accessible transportation. First, elderly and disabled residents are especially vulnerable to the suburbanization of poverty. In addition to being disproportionately poor, their reliance on subsidized housing and care facilities means that they have fewer choices in deciding where to live. As urban property values increase, support facilities are more likely to be located in suburban areas that are not well-served by public transportation. Secondly, elderly and disabled residents have high barriers to car ownership, such as needing wheelchair-equipped vehicles, and may not be physically able to drive. While auto use is on the rise among poor commuters, car ownership is simply not an option for many elderly and disabled residents. As transportation planners, it is especially crucial that we understand how the increase in suburban poverty is affecting those who need both accessible and affordable mobility options.
Mobility and Travel Impact of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles for Elderly Population: An Accessibility-Based Approach to Hospitals
Jaqueline Masaki, Florida State UniversityShow Abstract
Richard Twumasi-Boakye, Ford Motor Company
Recent developments in connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) technologies have led to a proliferation of studies that recognize CAVs’ potential to increase and improve mobility for many groups, including the aging population (65 years and above). Studies have also shown the possibility of CAVs to cause a significant reduction in average vehicle ownership per household due to vehicle sharing. As a result, this could reduce traffic and may cause an increase in accessibility. Based on these findings, this study considered the 100% penetration rate of CAVs by 2040 to explore the elderly population’s accessibility to hospitals. This research has been ongoing for over a year and the authors will want to present very interesting findings. The issue of mobility and access is of prime importance to the elderly, especially in the event of health emergencies. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the role of CAVs in improving aging access to health services.
The study captures the influx of CAVs as transportation modes at different penetration rates in a regional model. Output results from the future year network model are used to evaluate how the aging population (who are expected to increase in number) will be impacted in terms of access to health care. In the poster session, the authors will communicate: (i) the impact of CAVs on vehicle ownership, and consequently the ease of mobility in terms of free flow and congested travel times for regional networks; (ii) the spatial representation of the improvement of access to health care for aging population for CAVs scenario versus the base model using interactive maps; (iii) the quantified improvement of elderly access to health care for CAVs scenario in terms of free flow and congested travel times; and (iv) recommendation for future studies.