ASTM Committee on Vehicle-Pavement Systems ponders sidewalk smoothness standard

Sources: ASTM International, West Conshohocken, Pa.; CP staff

ASTM Committee E17’s proposed WK41917, Practice for Computing Pathway Roughness Index from Longitudinal Profile Measurements standard describes a method to collect and analyze sidewalk slab roughness data. Roughness can make sidewalks uncomfortable and risky for wheelchair and wheeled-walker users, parents pushing strollers and postal carriers with three-wheeled carts, the committee contends.

“The standard and related data collection tools will help establish a new service engineering firms can offer to municipalities and transportation agencies that manage sidewalks and crosswalks,” says E17 member Jonathan Pearlman, co-founder of Pathway Accessibility Solutions Inc. and an assistant professor in the University of Pittsburgh Rehabilitation Science and Technology Department. “For architects and contractors, the proposed standard will help guide design-build approaches for safe and accessible routes.” WK41917 could also be referenced in future Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, he adds.

Committee E17 will meet next in conjunction with the Larson Institute Friction Workshop, June 20 in State College, Pa. Contacts: technical, Jonathan Pearlman, 412/822-3664, [email protected]; staff liaison, Julie Lively, 610/832-9681, [email protected].