People with disabilities form 18.7% of the United States population, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2012. To avoid discrimination against this significant portion of the population, state and local governments are required by federal and state laws to provide and maintain accessibility for people with disabilities on their sidewalks and pedestrian facilities. To achieve compliance with these laws, state and local governments need to conduct self-evaluations to identify inaccessible pedestrian facilities and develop transition plans to schedule upgrade projects for these inaccessible pedestrian facilities. The federally-mandated transition plan requirements include the development of a schedule that displays, in detail, deadlines for all upgrade projects needed to achieve full compliance with accessibility requirements. To prepare this schedule, public entities are required to rank and prioritize pedestrian facilities upgrade projects. This paper presents the development of a novel methodology to quantify the impact of upgrading inaccessible pedestrian facilities on people with disabilities. The developed methodology considers several factors related to pedestrian facilities’ conditions and location to estimate the number of expected pedestrians with disabilities impacted by upgrading each inaccessible pedestrian facility. This methodology is designed to assist decision makers in state and local governments in the process of ranking and prioritizing inaccessible pedestrian facilities upgrade projects.
Full Text (PDF)