Building Accessible, Temporary Pedestrian Pathways through Sidewalk Construction

Author(s): William Jamieson, Tim Cox

Slidedeck Presentation:

6B - Cox


Most urban street construction work zones reduce or eliminate existing pedestrian pathways. The portion of pathway that remains for pedestrian use is at best confusing. Often the reduced pathway is quite unsafe. Pedestrians seemingly must travel at their own risk.

All pedestrians can have difficulty traversing a temporary pathway through a sidewalk work zone. Pedestrians with limited vision or with mobility issues can fare even worse. With a temporary pathway, they have lost their routine, their visual cues, and their unimpeded access to their destination.

In our presentation, we will introduce the foundation for a safe, temporary, pedestrian pathway: accessible and detectible guidance. When a temporary pathway is accessible and detectable, all pedestrians, especially those with limited vision or mobility issues, can travel in safety.

Accessibility for all is the law in both the USA and the province of Ontario. As such, we will identify and explain the relevant standards published in the US Americans with Disabilities Act, (ADA) and its subsequent guidelines, and the US Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).