In this paper, researchers present the results of a Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) study that assessed how work zone information can be related to visually-impaired users through audio messages. Researchers conducted a two phase study that included both a laboratory survey and a field test of audio messages presented through motion-activated recordings in a mock work zone. A few of the key points found during this effort are listed below. (1) It is critical that an alternate route message clearly state that the path will lead them to the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street. (2) Critical message elements for navigation of alternate routes were the initial turning or crossing instruction and the distance that they would need to continue on that path. (3) The existence of a high number of driveways can impact the ability of the visually impaired to count the number of blocks they have traveled and should be considered when establishing alternate routes. (4) Overload of information is still a concern; however, there are specific message elements or terms (e.g. the use of feet distances) that appeared to have a greater adverse impact upon recall than the typical message loading considerations. (5) When it is important to provide warning messages about features for the visually impaired walking through or near a work area, it is critical to clearly state that the path is available (i.e., “sidewalk is open”).
Publisher: Transportation Research Board
Publication Date: 2009
Source URL: Link to URL
Abstract posted with permission of TRB. The full document can be obtained from the TRB website above.
Topics: Accessibility; Pedestrian Safety; Temporary Traffic Control; Visually Impaired Persons; Work Zone Safety