Traffic and Safety

Roundabouts: Are design practices ADA compliant?

The Minnesota Council on Disability (MCD) has raised concerns about the safety of methods currently employed for crossing at Minnesota Roundabouts for pedestrians with disabilities. Representatives of the Council recently approached MnDOT to bring awareness and discuss some concerns about current design practices. Because roundabouts offer so many beneficial features to a Minnesota community, it is important that they are made as safe and efficient as possible for all users and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Public Right of Way Accessibility Guidelines. Research is needed to explore possible accessible solutions for pedestrians with disabilities, identifying the advantages and disadvantages, the practicality, and the overall performance of each solution and identify appropriate best practices for roundabouts in different contexts, i.e. urban vs. rural, single lane vs. multilane, and low vs. high volume, etc.

 

State Aid Pre-Screening Meeting input:

The research will explore possible accessible solutions for pedestrians with disabilities, identifying the advantages and disadvantages, the practicality, and the overall performance of each solution and identify appropriate best practices for roundabouts in different contexts, i.e. urban vs. rural, single lane vs. multilane, and low vs. high volume, etc. Because roundabouts offer so many beneficial features to a Minnesota community, it is important that they are made as safe and efficient as possible for all users and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Public Right of Way Accessibility Guidelines. The Minnesota Council on Disability (MCD) has raised concerns about the safety of methods currently employed for crossing at Minnesota Roundabouts for pedestrians with disabilities. Representatives of the Council recently approached MnDOT to bring awareness and discuss some concerns about current design practices. The MnDOT's literature search regarding these questions found that there have been several studies conducted with the purpose of assessing pedestrian crossing environments at roundabouts and making them safer for pedestrians with disabilities. These studies focused on four methods: crosswalk placement, sound applications, signalized options, and automated yield detection. The search also confirmed limited data and understanding of the disability community impact associated with active Minnesota roundabouts. The research being proposed is to address an ongoing issue regarding the accommodation of individuals with disabilities at roundabouts. Since 2005, the Access Board has proposed that multi-lane roundabouts with free-right be signalized to facilitate crossing by individuals who are blind and low vision. However, the requirement has not been supported with specific design recommendations or approaches. In the intervening years, several attempts have been made to identify mitigations but the results have not produced a definitive or replicable approach.

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Idea No. 377