Surface Roughness and Rollability Research
Rough and uneven surfaces can be uncomfortable, even painful, for people who use wheeled mobility aids. While there are ways to measure and analyze surface roughness for roadways, none are appropriate for pedestrian pathways. The U.S. Access Board funded a study that used subject testing to examine how the roughness of pathway surfaces impacts wheelchair travel. Conducted by the Human Engineering Research Laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh, the project measured body vibrations resulting from travel across various types of bumpy or uneven surfaces, including existing sidewalks and simulated surfaces. Results from this research were used in the development of a new ASTM standard on pedestrian surfaces. This session will discuss the research findings and the new ASTM standard.