Legal Problems Arising out of Highway Programs. Topic 20-01. Liability Aspects of Pedestrians Facilities

Walkways and areas where pedestrians cross roads have traditionally been an area vulnerable to tort claims involving pedestrians injured in trip/fall incidents or vehicle accidents. Public agencies also have exposure in terms of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complaints/lawsuits alleging civil rights violations due to inaccessible pedestrian features. In the cases of both tort claims and accessibility-related claims, the media often highlight unusual cases that are not representative of either jury verdicts or judicial opinions. Limited and/or incorrect information exists about legal aspects associated with the design, construction, inspection, maintenance and operation. Therefore, a summary and analysis of recent jury verdicts and court decisions addressing tort liability and ADA-related claims covering pedestrian facilities is necessary. By providing insight into the nature and disposition of pedestrian facility- related claims, the research results should be valuable to both government agencies and private entities. It is anticipated that the research results will contribute to enhanced safety and accessibility of pedestrian facilities. The main objective of this research is to assess liability and claims concerning pedestrian facilities or the lack of such facilities and their interaction with highways. The research will address: 1) tort claims arising out of the design, construction, operation or maintenance of pedestrian facilities, including their interaction with roadways; and 2) civil rights lawsuits in federal court and complaints filed with the United States Department of Justice relating to inaccessible pedestrian facilities.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-06, Topic

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Chisholm-Smith, Gwen

  • Performing Organizations:

    Terri L. Parker, Esq.

  • Principal Investigators:

    McDaniel, James

  • Start Date: 20130528
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20141231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 37631

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01543631
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-06, Topic
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Nov 19 2014 1:04AM