New Project: Designing and Implementing Maintainable Pedestrian Safety Countermeasures

In Minnesota, one challenge with installing safety countermeasures for people walking and ensuring year-round access to pedestrian infrastructure is winter maintenance.

Specific pedestrian safety and accessibility treatments introduce real and perceived challenges to traditional snow removal operations and winter maintenance plans. Snowplows may have difficulty removing snow from around curb extensions, median refuge islands, speed humps, and narrower lanes.

Furthermore, roadway snow removal often blocks curb ramps or even results in piles of snow atop curb-tight sidewalks. These issues negatively affect pedestrian mobility and accessibility in winter and complicate efforts to install such safety treatments.

In a new project, researchers will identify best practices for designing and implementing pedestrian safety countermeasures that ensure year-round maintainability.

“For many years we’ve heard that pedestrian safety countermeasures like curb extensions or median refuge islands are challenging to maintain, especially when it comes to snow and ice removal during cold weather months,” said Jake Rueter, MnDOT active transportation coordinator. “This research project will help us identify best practices in both design and maintenance to provide safer places for people to walk year-round.”


  • Identify current best practices for designing and implementing pedestrian safety countermeasures for year-round maintainability.
  • Document the design characteristics that make pedestrian safety countermeasures easier to maintain during the winter while using existing MnDOT and local agency equipment.
  • Review MnDOT and select local agency winter maintenance plans, polices, maintenance agreements, and procedures regarding the safety and accessibility of pedestrians and recommend options for agencies to deal with winter maintenance of pedestrian infrastructure.

Project Details

Details of the research study work plan and timeline are subject to change.

To receive email updates about this project, visit MnDOT’s Office of Research & Innovation to subscribe.

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