Evaluation of Closed Crossing Tactile Indicators

There are currently no low maintenance, cost effective industry standard treatments for tactile closed crossing indicator markings for visually impaired people. Crossings are formally closed when an official sign prohibits such a crossing. Tactile pavement indicators are also needed as wayfinding cues for non-visual users. Tactile paving surfaces can be used to convey important information to visually impaired pedestrians about their environment, for example, hazard warnings, directional guidance, or the presence of an amenity. Each type of tactile paving surface should be exclusively reserved for its intended use and consistently installed in accordance with guidelines. Visually impaired people are becoming increasingly mobile, both within their local area and more widely, and it is, therefore, very important that conflicting and confusing information is not conveyed. The development division has a proof-of-concept application applied in a partnership with SDOT and The Lighthouse for the Blind. The new treatment application and project location provide a catalyst for evaluating, improving, and developing guidance, standards & specifications moving forward. The research will utilize the current WSDOT proof of concept tactile surface treatment pilot location to develop a set of guidelines that can be used to determine the frequency of the application, recommend the type of materials that should be used. Another desirable objective will be to establish a method for determining the maximum service life for different types of material markings placed on different types of pavement surfaces.