Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Pedestrian Accommodations Through Work Zones

Background

When pedestrian facilities are impacted due to maintenance or construction, pedestrian accommodations must be provided to the maximum extent feasible. These accommodations may be made detectable and must have accessibility features up to the level of the disturbed route. Signage and devices, as necessary, must be provided to direct pedestrians safely through the work zone.

The need to create an inclusive environment for pedestrian facilities is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (particularly in Title II and Title III). To accomplish this, MnDOT has chosen to adopt the guidelines published under the “Public Right-Of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG)” first published in November 2005. This was adopted through Technical Memo 15-02-TR-01 Adoption of Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidance (PROWAG). This Tech Memo applies to MnDOT construction/maintenance projects and work that other agencies/permit holders perform on MnDOT right of way. In addition, the Minnesota MUTCD Part 6D requires that pedestrian accessibility be maintained whenever the facility is restricted or realigned due to a construction or maintenance project. This applies to all public roads (and all private roads open to the public) in Minnesota.

Definitions

Alternate Pedestrian Routes (APR)
An APR is a temporary pedestrian facility created to replace a pedestrian facility impacted by a work zone.  The APR must contain accessibility features consistent with the features present in the impacted pedestrian facility. 

Temporary Pedestrian Access Route (TPAR)
A TPAR is a temporary pedestrian route that is fully accessible and meets the standards and guidelines of PROWAG.  TPAR devices are pedestrian elements (such as temporary curb ramps, pedestrian channelizers, sidewalk barricades, etc) that meet the parameters defined in PROWAG.

Standards and Guidelines

Attended vs. unattended
From MN MUTCD 6D.1 (Pedestrian Considerations): If an existing pedestrian route is impacted by a short-term or short duration work zone that is attended with project personnel, establishing an alternate pedestrian route may not be necessary if the work can be stopped and pedestrians can navigate the work zone safely. Pedestrians may be delayed for a short period of time for project personnel to move equipment and material to facilitate passage. Project personnel may also assist pedestrians with disabilities.

Workshop and demonstration

In June 2010, MnDOT, partnered with ATSSA (American Traffic Safety Services Association) and Northland Chapter of ATSSA, conducted a training session to discuss the latest standards for providing TPAR facilities through work zone areas. The two day event also included a TPAR device demonstration and provided an opportunity for people with disabilities to talk about the issues for disabled pedestrians in work zones. Attendees included representatives from several stakeholder groups including disabled pedestrians and/or their representatives, manufacturers of devices, public agencies responsible for pedestrian facilities, private contractors and engineering organizations. Read more about the workshop.