About the research
In recent years, negative trends have emerged in pedestrian safety. Transportation agencies have sought to address these issues by implementing various pedestrian safety countermeasures at crosswalks and other conflict points.
While effective at improving safety for pedestrians, treatments can present a challenge to winter maintenance operations based on their designs and characteristics.The use of pedestrian safety countermeasures can introduce challenges to snow removal and winter maintenance operations, but misconceptions also exist. For example, one misconception is that people in the suburbs do not walk, and so keeping locations like median refuges clear of snow and ice is a lower priority for agencies.Unfortunately, research has not helped in addressing these issues. Instead, it has largely focused on the mechanics of snow and ice removal: the equipment to use, material application rates, etc., and not the impacts of designs on maintainability and pedestrian safety.
There remains a research need to investigate the best practice guidance and solutions for the design, installation, and maintenance of pedestrian safety features for year-round maintenance. With this in mind, the specific objectives of this research includes:
- Identify current best practices for designing and implementing pedestrian safety countermeasures for year-round maintainability.
- Document the design characteristics that make pedestrian safety countermeasures easier to maintain during the winter while using existing MnDOT and local agency equipment.
- Review MnDOT and select local agency winter maintenance plans, polices, maintenance agreements, and procedures regarding the safety and accessibility of pedestrians and recommend options for agencies to deal with winter maintenance of pedestrian infrastructure.