About the research
Each year, billions of dollars are spent by public agencies, utilities, and private developers for projects that affect pedestrian safety and mobility during construction. A systematic literature review was conducted to identify previous research related to work zone pedestrian safety and mobility deficiencies and potential solutions. Studies published between 2004 and mid-2021 (17½ years) were eligible for inclusion. Only nine studies meeting the inclusion criteria were found. One study summarized research conducted prior to 2006, five discussed physical design and traffic management for temporary pedestrian facilities, and three discussed electronic mobility aids for visually impaired pedestrians. None of the identified studies provided quantitative evaluations of the effectiveness of proposed design solutions. The qualitative findings described in the studies are often subjective, and the study designs have significant risk of bias.
A supplemental literature review compared the work zone design guidance issued by state departments of transportation (DOTs). The guidelines ranged widely in scope and specificity. The most detailed guidance tended to be issued by more urbanized states and was mainly derived from a temporary pedestrian access handbook prepared by the Minnesota DOT around 2011.
Several research needs related to pedestrian safety and mobility in work zones were identified. For example, there is currently virtually no information on positive or negative effects of relaxing design standards when a pedestrian facility will be used for only a short duration. In addition, current design guidance for temporary facilities is not tied to objective criteria such as pedestrian traffic volume, motor vehicle traffic volume, traffic speeds, facility type, or work duration.
A Pedestrian Test Track is proposed as a potential method for gathering information about user acceptance of proposed design solutions.