Improving Pedestrian Infrastructure Inventory in Massachusetts using Mobile LiDAR

Pedestrian infrastructure is one of the most vital transportation infrastructures and facilities for pedestrians (especially wheelchair users) who rely on quality sidewalks to facilitate safe and uninterrupted trips in their everyday lives. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is required to make informed investment decisions in transportation asset management, particularly as these decisions pertain to the timely identification and maintenance of inadequate sidewalks under MassDOT’s jurisdiction. With the recent advancement of remote sensing technologies, many mobile systems with high data acquisition frequency and measurement accuracy, e.g., mobile LiDAR, have become cost-friendly and commercially available. The information produced from these mobile LiDAR systems has the potential to address the challenges described above successfully and to deliver a comprehensive pedestrian infrastructure database accurately and efficiently. With the LiDAR-based embedded geolocation and geometric measurement information, the LiDAR-derived database will be seamlessly integrated with MassDOT’s existing (GIS)-based Road Inventory File (RIF). It is anticipated that this pedestrian infrastructure data will provide MassDOT’s Highway Division with accurate information from which to prioritize sidewalk infrastructure maintenance and management resources. This research project seeks to demonstrate the feasibility of employing mobile light detection and ranging (LiDAR) as a tool to support efficient inventory update and condition assessment of MassDOT’s pedestrian infrastructure. Focusing on the State Route 9 corridor, the objective of this research project is to collect and process data with a mobile-LiDAR system, to verify and update the existing MassDOT’s sidewalk inventory data, and to incorporate physical condition information into the inventory geodatabase.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $100000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    Massachusetts Division
    55 Broadway, 10th Floor
    Cambridge, Massachusetts  United States  02142
  • Managing Organizations:

    Massachusetts Department of Transportation

    10 Park Plaza
    Boston, MA  United States  02116
  • Project Managers:

    Zavolas, Nicholas

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Massachusetts, Amherst

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    130 Natural Resources Road
    Amherst, MA  United States  01003
  • Principal Investigators:

    Ai, Chengbo

  • Start Date: 20181101
  • Expected Completion Date: 20190731
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: Research and Development

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01688703
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Massachusetts Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 92312
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Dec 17 2018 3:41PM