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Chapter 6D. Pedestrian And Worker Safety

Section 6D.01 Pedestrian Considerations

Whenever the acronym "TTC" is used in this Chapter, it refers to "temporary traffic control."

The needs and control of all road users (motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians within the highway, including persons with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Title II, Paragragh 35.130) through a TTC zone shall be an essential part of highway construction, utility work, maintenance operations, and the management of traffic incidents.

A wide range of pedestrians might be affected by TTC zones, including the young, elderly, and people with disabilities such as hearing, visual, or mobility. These pedestrians need a clearly delineated and usable travel path. Considerations for pedestrians with disabilites are addressed in Section 6D.02.

The most desirable way to provide information to pedestrians with visual disabilites that is equivalent to visual signage for notification of sidewalk closures is a speech message provided by an audible information device. Devices that provide speech messages in response to passive pedestrian actuation are the most desirable. Other devices that continously emit a message, or that emit a message in response to use of a pushbutton, are also acceptable. Signage information can also be transmitted to personal receivers, but currently such receivers are not likely to be carried or used by pedestrians with visual disabilities in TTC zones. Audible information devices might not be needed if detectable channelizing devices make an alternate route of travel evident to pedestrians with visual disabilites.

If a pushbutton is used to provide equivalent TTC information to pedestrians with visual disabilities, the pushbutton should be equipped with a locator tone to notify pedestrians with visual disabilities that a special accomodation is available, and to help them locate the pushbutton.

The various TTC provisions for pedestrian and worker safety set forth in Part 6 shall be applied by knowledgeable (for example, trained and/or certified) persons after appropriate evaluation and engineering judgment.

Advance notification of sidewalk closures shall be provided to the maintaining agency. Where pedestrians with visual disabilities normally use the closed sidewalk, a barrier that is detectable by a person with a visual disability traveling with the aid of a long cane shall be placed across the full width of a closed sidewalk.

It must be recognized that pedestrians are reluctant to retrace their steps to a prior intersection for a crossing or to add distance or out-of-the-way travel to a destination.

Adequate provisions should be made for persons with disabilities as determined by an engineering study or by engineering judgment. Because printed signs and surface delineation are not usable by pedestrians with visual disabilities, blocked routes, alternate crossings, and sign and signal information should be communicated to pedestrians with visual disabilities by providing audible information devices, accessible pedestrian signals, and barriers and channelizing devices that are detectable to pedestrians traveling with the aid of a long cane or who have low vision.

The following three items should be considered when planning for pedestrians in TTC zones:

  1. Pedestrians should not be led into conflicts with work site vehicles, equipment, and operations.
  2. Pedestrians should not be led into conflicts with vehicles moving through or around the work site.
  3. Pedestrians should be provided with a reasonably safe, convenient, and accessible path that replicates as nearly as practical the most desirable characteristics of the existing sidewalk(s) or footpath(s). Where pedestrians who have visual disabilities encounter work sites that require them to cross the roadway to find an accessible route, instructions should be provided using an audible information device. Accessible pedestrian signals (see Section 4E.06) with accessible pedestrian detectors (see Section 4E.09) might be needed to enable pedestrians with visual disabilties to cross wide or heavily traveled roadways.

A pedestrian route should not be severed and/or moved for nonconstruction activities such as parking for vehicles and equipment.

Consideration should be made to separate pedestrian movements from both work site activity and vehicular traffic. Unless a reasonably safe route that does not involve crossing the roadway can be provided, pedestrians should be appropriately directed with advance signing that encourages them to cross to the opposite side of the roadway. In urban and suburban areas with high vehicular traffic volumes, these signs should be placed at intersections (rather than midblock locations) so that pedestrians are not confronted with midblock work sites that will induce them to attempt skirting the work site or making a midblock crossing.

Figures 6H-28 and 6H-29 show typical TTC device usage and techniques for pedestrian movement through work zones.

When pedestrian movement through or around a work site is necessary, a separate usable footpath should be provided. If the previous pedestrian facility was accessible to pedestrians with disabilities, the footpath provided during temporary traffic control should also be accessible. There should not be any abrupt changes in grade or terrain that could cause a tripping hazard or could be a barrier to wheelchair use. Barriers and channelizing devices should be detectable to pedestrians who have visual disabilities (see Section 6F.68).

Whenever it is feasible, closing off the work site from pedestrian intrusion may be preferable to channelizing pedestrian traffic along the site with TTC devices.

Maintaining a detectable, channelized pedestrian route is much more useful to pedestrians who have visual disabilities than closing a walkway and providing audible directions to an alternate route involving additional crossings and a return to the original route. Braille is not useful in conveying such information because it is difficult to find. Audible instructions might be provided, but the extra distance and additional street crossings might add complexity to a trip.

Fencing should not create sight distance restrictions for road users. Fences should not be constructed of materials that would be hazardous if impacted by vehicles.

Wooden railing, fencing, and similar systems placed immediately adjacent to motor vehicle traffic should not be used as substitutes for crashworthy temporary traffic barriers.

TTC devices used to delineate a TTC zone pedestrian walkway shall be crashworthy and, when struck by vehicles, present a minimum threat to pedestrians, workers, and occupants of impacting vehicles.

Ballast for TTC devices should be kept to the minimum amount needed and should be mounted low to prevent penetration of the vehicle windshield.

Movement by work vehicles and equipment across designated pedestrian paths should be minimized and, when necessary, should be controlled by flaggers or TTC. Staging or stopping of work vehicles or equipment along the side of pedestrian paths should be avoided, since it encourages movement of workers, equipment, and materials across the pedestrian path.

Access to the work space by workers and equipment across pedestrian walkways should be minimized because the access often creates unacceptable changes in grade, and rough or muddy terrain, and pedestrians will tend to avoid these areas by attempting nonintersection crossings where no curb ramps are available.

A canopied walkway may be used to protect pedestrians from falling debris, and to provide a covered passage for pedestrians.

Covered walkways should be sturdily constructed and adequately lighted for nighttime use.

When pedestrian and vehicle paths are rerouted to a closer proximity to each other, consideration should be given to separating them by a temporary traffic barrier.

If a temporary traffic barrier is used to shield pedestrians, it should be designed to accommodate site conditions.

Depending on the possible vehicular speed and angle of impact, temporary traffic barriers might deflect upon impact by an errant vehicle. Guidance for locating and designing temporary traffic barriers can be found in Chapter 9 of AASHTO’s "Roadside Design Guide" (see Section 1A.11).

Short intermittent segments of temporary traffic barrier shall not be used because they nullify the containment and redirective capabilities of the temporary traffic barrier, increase the potential for serious injury both to vehicle occupants and pedestrians, and encourage the presence of blunt, leading ends. All upstream leading ends that are present shall be appropriately flared or protected with properly installed and maintained crashworthy cushions. Adjacent temporary traffic barrier segments shall be properly connected in order to provide the overall strength required for the temporary traffic barrier to perform properly.

Normal vertical curbing shall not be used as a substitute for temporary traffic barriers when temporary traffic barriers are clearly needed.

Temporary traffic barriers or longitudinal channelizing devices may be used to discourage pedestrians from unauthorized movements into the work space. They may also be used to inhibit conflicts with vehicular traffic by minimizing the possibility of midblock crossings.

A major concern for pedestrians is urban and suburban building construction encroaching onto the contiguous sidewalks, which forces pedestrians off the curb into direct conflict with moving vehicles.

If a significant potential exists for vehicle incursions into the pedestrian path, pedestrians should be rerouted or temporary traffic barriers should be installed.

TTC devices, jersey barriers, and wood or chainlink fencing with a continuous detectable edging can satisfactorily delineate a pedestrian path.

Tape, rope, or plastic chain strung between devices are not detectable, do not comply with the design standards in the “Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG)” (see Section 1A.11), and should not be used as a control for pedestrian movements.

The extent of pedestrian needs should be determined through engineering judgment for each TTC zone situation. In general, pedestrian routes should be preserved in urban and commercial suburban areas. Alternative routing should be discouraged.

The highway agency in charge of the TTC zone should regularly inspect the activity area so that effective pedestrian TTC is maintained.

Section 6D.02 Accessibility Considerations

Additional information on the design and construction of accessible temporary facilities is found in publications listed in Section 1A.11 (see Documents 10 and 29 through 31).

The extent of pedestrian needs should be determined through engineering judgment or by the individual responsible for each TTC zone situation. This individual should be aware that the absence of a continuous pathway, including curb ramps and other accessible features, might preclude the use of the facility by pedestrians with disabilites.

When existing pedestrian facilities are disrupted, closed, or relocated in a TTC zone, the temporary facilities shall be detectable and include accessibility features consistent with the features present in the existing pedestrian facility.

To accomodate the needs of pedestrians, including those with disabilites, the following considerations should be addressed when temporary pedestrian pathways in TTC zones are designed or modified:

  1. Provisions for continuity of accessible paths for pedestrians should be incorporated into the TTC process. Pedestrians should be provided with a reasonably safe, convenient, and accessible path that replicates as much as practical the desirable characteristics of the existing pedestrian facilities.
  2. Access to temporary transit stops should be provided.
  3. Blocked routes, alternate crossings, and sign and signal information should be communicated to pedestrians with visual disablities by providing devices such as audible information devices, accessible pedestrian signals, or barriers and channelizing devices that are detectable to the pedestrians traveling with the aid of a long cane or who have low vision. Where pedestrian traffic is detoured to a TTC signal, engineering judgment should be used to determine if pedestrian signals or accessible pedestrian signals should be considered for crossings along an alternate route.
  4. When channelization is used to delineate a pedestrian pathway, a continous detectable edging should be provided throughout the length of the facility such that pedestrians using a long cane can follow it. These detectable edgings should adhere to the provisions of Section 6F.68.
  5. A smooth, continuous hard surface should be provided throughout the entire length of the temporary pedestrian facility. There should be no curbs or abrupt changes in grade or terrain that could cause tripping or be a barrier to wheelchair use. The geometry and alignment of the facility should meet the applicable requirements of the "Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibly Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG)" (see Section 1A.11).
  6. The width of the existing pedestrian facility should be provided for the temporary facility if practical. Traffic control devices and other construction materials and features should not intrude into the usable width of the sidewalk, temporary pathway, or other pedestrian facility. When it is not possible to maintain a minimum width of 1500 mm (60 in) thorughout the entire length of the pedestrian pathway, a 1500 x 1500 mm (60 x 60 in) passing space should be provided at least every 60 m (200 ft), to allow individuals in wheelchairs to pass.
  7. Signs and other devices mounted lower that 2.1m (7 ft) above the temporary pedestrian pathway should not project more than 100 mm (4 in) into accessible pedestrian facilities.

Section 6D.03 Worker Safety Considerations

Equally as important as the safety of road users traveling through the TTC zone is the safety of workers. TTC zones present temporary and constantly changing conditions that are unexpected by the road user. This creates an even higher degree of vulnerability for workers on or near the roadway.

Maintaining TTC zones with road user flow inhibited as little as possible, and using TTC devices that get the road user's attention and provide positive direction are of particular importance. Likewise, equipment and vehicles moving within the activity area create a risk to workers on foot. When possible, the separation of moving equipment and construction vehicles from workers on foot provides the operator of these vehicles with a greater separation clearance and improved sight lines to minimize exposure to the hazards of moving vehicles and equipment.

The following are the key elements of worker safety and TTC management that should be considered to improve worker safety:

  1. Training—all workers should be trained on how to work next to motor vehicle traffic in a way that minimizes their vulnerability. Workers having specific TTC responsibilities should be trained in TTC techniques, device usage, and placement.
  2. Worker Safety Apparel—all workers exposed to the risks of moving roadway traffic or construction equipment should wear high-visibility safety apparel meeting the requirements of ISEA “American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel” (see Section 1A.11), or equivalent revisions, and labeled as ANSI 107-1999 standard performance for Class 1, 2, or 3 risk exposure. A competent person designated by the employer to be responsible for the worker safety plan within the activity area of the job site should make the selection of the appropriate class of garment.
  3. Temporary Traffic Barriers—temporary traffic barriers should be placed along the work space depending on factors such as lateral clearance of workers from adjacent traffic, speed of traffic, duration and type of operations, time of day, and volume of traffic.
  4. Speed Reduction—reducing the speed of vehicular traffic, mainly through regulatory speed zoning, funneling, lane reduction, or the use of uniformed law enforcement officers, or flaggers, should be considered.
  5. Activity Area—planning the internal work activity area to minimize backing-up maneuvers of construction vehicles should be considered to minimize the exposure to risk.
  6. Worker Safety Planning—a competent person designated by the employer should conduct a basic hazard assessment for the work site and job classifications required in the activity area. This safety professional should determine whether engineering, administrative, or personal protection measures should be implemented. This plan should be in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, as amended, “General Duty Clause” Section 5(a)(1) - Public Law 91-596, 84 Stat. 1590, December 29, 1970, as amended, and with the requirement to assess worker risk exposures for each job site and job classification, as per 29 CFR 1926.20 (b)(2) of “Occupational Safety and Health Administration Regulations, General Safety and Health Provisions" (see Section 1A.11).

The following are additional elements of TTC management that may be considered to improve worker safety:

  1. Shadow Vehicle—in the case of mobile and constantly moving operations, such as pothole patching and striping operations, a shadow vehicle, equipped with appropriate lights and warning signs, may be used to protect the workers from impacts by errant vehicles. The shadow vehicle may be equipped with a rear-mounted impact attenuator.
  2. Road Closure—if alternate routes are available to handle road users, the road may be closed temporarily. This may also facilitate project completion and thus further reduce worker vulnerability.
  3. Law Enforcement Use—in highly vulnerable work situations, particularly those of relatively short duration, law enforcement units may be stationed to heighten the awareness of passing vehicular traffic and to improve safety through the TTC zone.
  4. Lighting—for nighttime work, the TTC zone and approaches may be lighted.
  5. Special Devices—these include rumble strips, changeable message signs, hazard identification beacons, flags, and warning lights. Intrusion warning devices may be used to alert workers to the approach of errant vehicles.

Judicious use of the special devices described in Item E above might be helpful for certain difficult TTC situations, but misuse or overuse of special devices or techniques might lessen their effectiveness.

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