Barrier-free Mobility

This measure was fully updated by AUSTRIAN MOBILITY RESEARCH (AMOR) in 2014 under the CH4LLENGE project, financed by the European Commission.


Guidance systems support people in way finding and orientation and prevent them from hazards and accidents. Usually guidance information is given by conventional signs and markings, but these are often not accessible or not sufficient for people with reduced mobility. Therefore it is necessary to implement accessible guidance systems, in order to enable all people to reach their destinations safely and quickly.
Implementation of accessible guidance systems includes both

  1. measures to improve the accessibility of (existing) visual guidance systems, and
  2. measures to complement (existing) visual guidance systems by tactile and/or audio information.

Measures to improve the accessibility of (existing) visual guidance systems comprise measures to improve the visibility / readability of guidance information, and measures to improve the content of guidance information:

  • The visibility of visual guidance information can be improved by
    • adaptation of the positioning of signs and markings to take into account the needs of all people,
    • adaptation of font sizes and colour contrast to take into account the needs of all people,
    • improving lighting, and reducing glare and reflection,
    • regularly conducting cleaning and maintenance measures (e.g., removing graffiti from signs and information displays, cutting plants to ensure visibility of signs, cleaning floor markings from snow and autumn leaves)
  • The content of visual guidance information can be improved by
    • adding signs, information boards, and markings where there are gaps in the existing guidance systems
    • using simple language, clear structures, colour coding, and easy to understand pictograms
    • ensuring consistency throughout the system

Measures to complement visual guidance systems include implementation of a tactile guidance system and provision of audio guidance information:

  • Tactile guidance systems are composed of ‘natural’ tactile guidance (such as walls, fences and kerb stones), tactile paving and floor markings detectable with the feet and with the white cane, and tactile information on handrails and information boards to be ‘read’ with the fingers.
  • Audio guidance information can be implemented directly in the infrastructure (e.g., acoustic traffic lights, “talking” signs, acoustic door signals in public transport, etc.) or provided in form of pre-recorded route descriptions or real-time directions via internet or navigation systems.

The evidence from case studies suggests that implementation of accessible guidance systems is particularly effective in increasing social inclusion of people with reduced mobility. Furthermore, implementation of accessible guidance systems can also help to reduce the incidence of accidents. Thus, although the implementation of accessible guidance systems may encourage people with reduced mobility to shift from personal transport to walking and public transport, the main motivation behind the implementation of such a measure is not to gain an impact in transport or traffic demand, but rather to contribute to social inclusion of people with reduced mobility, and to contribute to increased road safety.

Introduction

All people en route need guidance and accessible information for way finding and orientation as well as for preventing them from hazards and accidents, so that they are able to reach their destination safely and quickly. Usually such information is given in visual format by conventional signs and markings. Such visual guidance systems are available on the roads and in public buildings, as well as in public transport stations/stops and vehicles.

However, these conventional signs and markings are often not accessible or not sufficient for people with reduced mobility (PRM) such as people with visual impairments, blind people, people of short stature, people with learning difficulties, or people with poor knowledge of the local language.

In order to enable all people to move along their day-to-day routes safely and independently, it is necessary to make the guidance systems accessible for all. This can be achieved by:

  1. Improving the accessibility of the (existing) visual guidance systems
  2. AND
  3. Complementing the visual guidance with tactile and audio guidance systems.

Terminology

Visual guidance systems are usually comprised of three components:

  1. Road / floor markings, such as lines and arrows
  2. Signs with text or graphics for directions, information, regulation or warning
  3. Information boards with texts (such as e.g., timetables or service hours) or graphics (such as e.g., maps or network plans)

Tactile guidance systems usually combine three components:

  1. ‘Natural’ tactile guidance, such as walls, fences and kerb stones
  2. Tactile paving and floor markings detectable with the feet and with the white cane
  3. Tactile information to be ‘read’ with the fingers.

Audio guidance information can be provided in three ways:

  1. In form of acoustic signals provided by the transport infrastructure (e.g., acoustic traffic lights for pedestrians, “talking” signs, acoustic door signals and acoustic stop announcements in public transport, etc.),
  2. In form of pre-recorded spoken route descriptions or screen-reader compatible written route descriptions (provided for example in the internet or on USB pen drive)
  3. In form of real-time directions provided by personal navigation systems (e.g. via mobile phone)

Description

On the one hand the purpose of guidance systems is to provide travellers with orientation and way finding information, guide them along a route and prevent them from getting lost. On the other hand guidance systems should also prevent travellers from hazardous situations, and support their adherence to legal and regulatory requirements.

Critical points along the route, where guidance is especially needed, are those which are crucial for orientation and way finding (such as taking the right route at crossroads, finding the right vehicle at public transport stops/stations, leaving the public transport vehicle at the right stop,…), and those which are crucial for safety (such as crossing roads, using traffic lights, moving along a busy street, boarding and alighting public transport vehicles,…).

In order to make guidance systems accessible to all people, all the information provided should be accessible with at least two different sensory organs (e.g. visual + audible, visual + tactile, …). For guidance purposes in the street environment it is most feasible to provide tactile information alongside the visual information.

To be useful for travellers, guidance systems must fulfil the following three essential conditions:

  • Guidance systems must cover the whole trip completely (without gaps!)
  • Guidance systems must be reliable under all conditions (independently from daytime, season, and weather)
  • Guidance systems must be easy to use and non-distracting.

Implementing accessible guidance systems

Accessibility of (existing) visual signs and markings can be improved by increasing visual contrast, using larger fonts, complementing written information with pictograms and colour schemes, improving lighting, minimising glare and dazzling, improving the positioning of the information, improving the content of the information, and improving the physical accessibility of the signs and information boards.

Tactile paving usually consists of “line” elements, which lead the user along a route, “attention” elements, which indicate special points such as branch-off points of pedestrian paths or departure points of public transport vehicles, and “warning” elements, which inform the user about (potentially) dangerous situations ahead such as crossing streets, stairs, edge of platform. These tactile elements are composed of knobs and striations that can be detected via the feet and the blind man’s stick. The detailed technical realisation of these elements varies between countries and even between cities, since there is no common standard.

Tactile elements, which can be “read” with the fingers, include braille information and tactile letters placed on handrails, controls, and signs, and tactile maps and floor-plans provided for orientation purposes.

Audio guidance information includes acoustic signals (e.g., acoustic traffic light signals, acoustic door signals), and public audio information (e.g., “talking” signs, acoustic announcements in public transport), as well as “personal” audio navigation instructions (e.g., detailed route descriptions, location based real-time directions) accessible via a personal device such as a smartphone.

For the construction and provision of accessible guidance systems there are specific recommendations, guidelines or legal provisions existing in many European countries. (e.g. UK (1) (2) (3) ) , but there is no common European standard for accessible guidance systems available. However, there is an essential precondition for successfully improving the accessibility of guidance systems that is valid for all European countries, regions and cities: for successful implementation of accessible guidance systems it is essential that the users (including people with reduced mobility (PRM)) are involved already from the planning stage and throughout the whole implementation phase.

Furthermore it is recommended that the implementation of accessible guidance systems is accompanied by awareness raising measures targeted at the staff responsible for planning, construction, maintenance and operation, as well as at the general public, since the main problems related to accessible information systems are caused by ignorance. Typical examples are parked bicycles, sales booths or billboards that block tactile pavement.

Why introduce barrier-free mobility?

Accessible guidance systems are an essential precondition that allows all people (including people with reduced mobility) to move along their routes confidently and safely. Thus accessible guidance systems are an important measure that helps to foster social inclusion and equal mobility chances for people with reduced mobility. Especially people with visual impairment and blind people, as well as people with learning difficulties and people who are less familiar with the local language benefit from accessible guidance systems.

Accessible guidance systems may also help to decrease road accidents, as clear and easy to understand guidance supports road users to adhere to legal requirements and safety rules more easily.

Demand impacts

Although it is not the primary purpose of accessible guidance systems to impact traffic demand, accessible guidance systems may have a small influence on traffic demand, since good guidance may encourage people with reduced mobility to shift from personal transport to walking and public transport.

Responses and situations
Response Reduction in road traffic Expected in situations
-
-
-
-
Accessible guidance systems may encourage people with reduced mobility (especially people with visual impairments and blind people) to shift from personal transport to walking and public transport.
-
-
= Weakest possible response = Strongest possible positive response
= Weakest possible negative response = Strongest possible negative response
= No response

Short and long run demand responses

Accessible guidance systems usually do not have any significant influence on the traffic demand. However, some people with reduced mobility might be encouraged to shift from personal transport to walking or public transport.

Short and long run demand responses
Response - 1st year 2-4 years 5 years 10+ years
-
  -
  -
  -
  -
  -
  -
= Weakest possible response = Strongest possible positive response
= Weakest possible negative response = Strongest possible negative response
= No response

Supply impacts

Accessible guidance systems increase the safety of road users and minimise hazards. Furthermore, accessible guidance systems are a sign of esteem of transport providers for their customers, and thus increase also the (perceived) service levels for public transport.

Financing requirements

If accessible guidance systems are already included in the planning process of new (road and buildings) construction sites, they cause only minor additional costs. Therefore it is essential for public authorities to have a clear policy and roadmap for improving accessibility (including accessible guidance systems), so that measures such as the implementation of accessible guidance systems become mainstream and self-evident for all construction and reconstruction works.

Expected impact on key policy objectives

Accessible guidance systems enable all people (including people with reduced mobility) to move independently and safely along their day-to-day routes. Thus, accessible guidance systems contribute to equity and social inclusion of people with reduced mobility.

Furthermore, accessible guidance systems may also help to increase road safety, since clear and easy to understand guidance supports road users to adhere to legal requirements and safety rules more easily.

Contribution to objectives

Objective

Scale of contribution

Comment

  -
  Accessible guidance systems help to make streets more inclusive and thus they become more liveable.
  -
  Accessible guidance systems enable people with reduced mobility to move along their day-to-day routes safely on their own, and thus increase their autonomy and self-reliance.
  Accessible guidance systems increase the safety of road users and help to prevent hazardous situations.
  -
  -
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Expected impact on problems

Accessible guidance systems increase the accessibility of neighbourhoods for people with reduced mobility, as this measure helps them with orientation and way finding and enables them to move along their day-to-day routes independently and safely.

Contribution to alleviation of key problems

Problem

Scale of contribution

Comment

Congestion -
Community impacts Accessible guidance systems help to make streets more inclusive and thus they become more liveable.
Environmental damage -
Poor accessibility Accessible guidance systems may help to increase the accessibility of neighbourhoods for people with reduced mobility.
Social and geographical disadvantage Accessible guidance systems may help people with reduced mobility to gain more autonomy and independent mobility, and thus support social inclusion and help to decrease social disadvantages.
Accidents

Accessible guidance systems may help to decrease the number of road accidents, since they support road users to adhere to legal requirements and safety rules more easily.

Economic growth -
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Expected winners and losers

Well-designed accessible guidance systems help all travellers to reach their destinations quickly and safely. However, especially tactile paving and floor markings may have undesired negative effects on the safety, health, and comfort of people with walking impairments and people using wheeled mobility aids such as wheelchairs, wheeled walking frames, wheeled luggage, etc. Therefore, in order to be able to take into account the needs and specific requirements of all users, it is of utmost importance to involve representatives of all affected user groups already at the planning stage of guidance systems.

Winners and losers

Group

Winners/Losers

Comment

Large scale freight and commercial traffic

-

Small businesses

-

High income car-users

-
Low income car-users with poor access to public transport -

All existing public transport users

-

People living adjacent to the area targeted

Improved guidance and signage is beneficial for all public transport users.

Cyclists including children

Improved guidance and signage may encourage people to walk more in their neighbourhood.

People at higher risk of health problems exacerbated by poor air quality

-
People making high value, important journeys -
The average car user -
= Weakest possible benefit = Strongest possible positive benefit
= Weakest possible negative benefit = Strongest possible negative benefit
= Neither wins nor loses

Barriers to implementation

The majority of problems which jeopardise the proper functioning of accessible guidance systems, are a result of ignorance and negligence. Among these problems are planning errors (e.g., tactile floor markings leading directly into lampposts or other barriers) and lack of maintenance (e.g., signs hidden by growing plants or tactile floor markings covered with autumn leaves) as well as carelessness in daily life (e.g., vehicles parked on tactile floor markings or information boards masked with stickers and advertising). Therefore it is essential that both the general public and the stakeholders involved in planning, construction and maintenance of roads and buildings, fully understand and accept the importance of accessible guidance systems.

Usually the main argument against the implementation of accessible guidance systems is the cost. Especially the implementation of tactile guidance systems in existing roads and building may be quite costly. Therefore it is essential that accessible guidance systems are included already in the planning stage of all construction and reconstruction works for roads and buildings, since the (additional) costs for accessible guidance systems are minimal when integrated in the construction process.

Scale of barriers
Barrier Scale Comment
Legal Especially in heritage buildings and heritage areas there might be legal issues that make the implementation of accessible guidance systems more complicated.
Finance While the implementation of accessible guiding systems in the construction phase of roads or buildings is rather inexpensive, refurbishment of existing roads and buildings with accessible guiding systems may be more costly.
Governance It is essential that in the organisational structure of the local/regional government clear responsibility to take care of the implementation and maintenance of accessible guiding systems is assigned to a department and a concrete person/team.  Coordination with public transport operators can pose problems.
Political acceptability If accessibility is seen as ‘minority program’ that affects only a small fringe group of society, this might cause problems with political acceptability of accessible guidance systems.
Public and stakeholder acceptability Public as well as stakeholder understanding and acceptance is essential for the functioning of accessible guidance systems.
Technical feasibility Some technical challenges may occur, when implementing accessible guidance systems in existing roads and buildings.
= Minimal barrier = Most significant barrier

Case study 1 - Tactile guidance system in the city of Graz
Case study 2 - Improved guidance system in public transport in the city of Reutlingen
Case study 3 - POPTIS in Vienna (AT)

 

Case study 1 - Tactile guidance system in the city of Graz

Context

The city of Graz, Austria started to implement a tactile guiding system in the 1990s. At that time neither guidelines about the design of such a system nor experiences regarding recommendable materials were existing. Thus the city’s transport department conducted several tests with different materials and designs to find out the most appropriate solution. Together with representatives of blind people, people with walking impairments and wheelchair users the best design solutions were developed, which fulfilled the needs of all these groups. The “Grazer T”, which combines tactile guidance and dropped kerbs, became a well-known solution for accessible pedestrian crossings that are suitable for both people with walking impairments (including wheelchair users) and blind people. In the beginning there was the idea to cover the whole city with tactile guiding systems. However, experiences showed that this was neither feasible nor necessary. Thus the strategy was changed to implement tactile paving only where this is necessary from point of view of blind people, i.e. everywhere in the city, where no “natural” tactile guidance such as walls, fences, kerbstones, etc. is available (e.g. at squares), or where tactile guidance systems can help to avoid dangerous situations (e.g. at crossings) or ease orientation (e.g. at public transport stops). (4)

In addition to the tactile paving at some places in the city also tactile information on handrails is given.

To complement the tactile guidance, all pedestrian traffic lights in the city are equipped with acoustic signalling, and most of these traffic lights are also equipped with vibration interfaces, in order to enable people with visual impairments and blind people to cross the street safely. (5)

01

Figure 1: Tactile pavement in Graz, Austria (Source: FGM-AMOR)

For more than 20 years the city of Graz has a dedicated department for “barrier-free construction”. This department is responsible for taking care of accessibility issues during construction and reconstruction works, supervises planning and implementations, and provides advice with respect to all accessibility issues. Due to the clear strategy and clear guidelines of the city of Graz with respect to tactile guiding systems, the necessary tactile paving is implemented ‘by default’, whenever there is road construction or reconstruction work. Due to this strategy, the majority of crossings and squares, and almost all public transport stops are already equipped with tactile guiding systems.

The main success factors for the tactile guidance system in Graz are:

  • Dedicated department for ‘barrier-free’ construction, committed staff, and clear responsibilities
  • Strong involvement of people with reduced mobility (especially blind people, people with visual impairment, and people with walking impairment including wheelchair users)
  • Clear strategy and guidance with respect to tactile guidance systems (and accessible crossings and public transport stops).

Impacts on demand

Since the tactile guiding system in Graz has not been introduced to achieve any impact on the traffic or transport demand, there are no relevant studies or data available.

Impacts on Supply

In 1999 a survey among people with disabilities in Graz revealed that blind people use public transport for 48% and walking for 22% of their trips in Graz. This is a quite high share compared to the average modal split in Graz (18% public transport and 25% walking). This relatively high share of walking and public transport trips suggests that blind people feel quite comfortable walking and using public transport in Graz.

Other impacts

The tactile guidance system supports independent mobility of people with severe visual impairments and blind people in Graz, and thus contributes substantially to social inclusion of these population groups.

Contribution to objectives

Contribution to objectives
Objective Scale of contribution Comment
  -
  -
  -
  Since the tactile guidance system implemented in the city of Graz enables blind people to move along on the streets and use public transport safely on their own, this measure supports the social inclusion of blind people in Graz.
  / The tactile guidance system helps blind people to stay on their route and prevents blind people from unintentionally entering the street. Thus, the implementation of the tactile guidance system contributes to increase safety and prevent hazardous situations.
 
-
  -
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Case study 2 - Improved guidance system in public transport in the city of Reutlingen

Context

From 2002, the city of Reutlingen in Germany together with the “Arbeitskreis Selbstbestimmung” (a local association of people with learning difficulties) and the RSV (the local public transport operator) worked together in a project to improve the guidance system in public transport in Reutlingen, in order to enable all people, especially those with learning difficulties and people who cannot read, to easily and confidently use public transport on their own. In April 2007 the new guidance system in public transport in Reutlingen was officially launched.

When developing the new guidance system, a special focus was set also on the improvement of the accessibility of the existing elements of the public transport information: i.e. position of information displays was adjusted to be readable also by people in wheelchairs, visibility of information was improved e.g., by removing dirt and graffiti from displays and signs, adjusting the lighting and removing obstacles.

The elements of the public transport guidance system in Reutlingen comprise the bus stops, the buses, the printed information, and the signage.

What distinguishes the guiding system in Reutlingen from conventional guiding systems is the fact that it is not primarily based on maps and network plans but on the usage patterns and trip purposes of the people: people want to go to work, school, shopping,  the doctor, the gym, the park, the swimming pool, and so on.

With the introduction of the improved guiding system all bus lines in Reutlingen have been assigned three attributes: a distinct pictogram, a number, and a colour. All these three attributes can be found consistently throughout the whole public transport system in Reutlingen: on the buses, in the buses, on the real-time passenger information screens, on the bus stop signs, on the printed timetables and information material. The pictograms give a hint of the destinations that are served by the respective bus line (e.g. the bus with the “duck” drives to the public swimming pool). The guiding system in Reutlingen also has some other special features: Reutlingen has got a more or less “radial” public transport network, and all buses that travel to the central interchange place (“Tübinger Tor”) display a pictogram depicting the “Tübinger Tor”. At this central interchange place, all the bus stops are marked with a large figure in the respective colour of the bus line departing from this stop, which holds up a large sign with the respective pictogram. There are printed folding cards available for each bus line, which clearly show the sequence of the stops of this line and help people with learning difficulties both with planning a trip as well as with orientation during the trip. (6)

02

Figure 2: Public transport guidance system in Reutlingen, Germany (Source: http://www.stadtwerke-reutlingen.de/rsv/leitsystem.php?current=2)

The main success factors for the improved guidance system in public transport in Reutlingen are:

  • Strong involvement of people with reduced mobility (especially people with learning difficulties)
  • Cooperative development of the system together with all important stakeholders, and strong commitment of all concerned public transport operators and city staff

Impact on demand

Since the main purpose of the improvement of the guidance system in public transport in Reutlingen has not been to achieve any impact on the traffic or transport demand, there are no relevant studies or data available.

Impact on supply

About half a year after the introduction of the new guidance system, a survey among public transport users in Reutlingen was conducted. In this survey more than 20% of the respondents stated that they have noticed improvements in the public transport guidance system of Reutlingen. About 14% of the respondents stated that they use the pictograms and 80% of the respondents stated that they use the line-numbers for orientation in public transport in Reutlingen. 86% of the respondents stated that the printed folding cards for the single bus lines are easy to understand and easy to use, and 47% stated that they themselves or someone else in their family use these printed folding cards for the single bus lines. (7)

Contribution to objectives

Contribution to objectives
Objective Scale of contribution Comment
  -
  -
  -
  Since the improved guidance system implemented in the city of Reutlingen enables people with learning difficulties and people who cannot read to use public transport safely and confidently on their own, this measure supports the social inclusion of people with learning difficulties in Reutlingen.
  -
  -
  -
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Case study 3 - POPTIS in Vienna (AT)

Context

In addition to the visual and the tactile guidance systems in Vienna’s public transport network, since 2004 the city’s public transport operator “Wiener Linien” also offers an audio navigation system designed especially for people with visual impairments and blind people. At the core of this system, which is called POPTIS (Pre-On-Post Trip Information System), there is a database that holds detailed route- and orientation-descriptions for all underground and railway stations in Vienna. These route descriptions consist of single text-elements, which work together like clockwork and can be combined smoothly. The detailed route descriptions have been made with the help of a team of blind local people and mobility trainers, and are regularly updated. Each route described in the database shows in detail all necessary information that is needed for entrance, orientation, embarking, disembarking and changing lines in Vienna’s underground and railway network. An easy to understand and easy to use hierarchical menu-structure allows the user to access all the needed information via mobile phone or MP3-player. POPTIS is accessible online on www.wl‑barrierefrei.at. POPTIS is used by visually impaired and blind people in two ways: already before starting a trip, POPTIS is used as a helpful toolbox for planning the route at home and downloading the related orientation information elements via computer or mobile phone; and during the trip the POPTIS information (pre-recorded e.g. on an audio-player or accessible online via mobile phone) is a useful guidance system that enables people also to spontaneously change their plans and divert from a pre-planned route without getting lost. (8) (9) (10) (11)

03
Figure 3: Development of the POPTIS system in close cooperation of all stakeholders (Source: Roland Krpata, Wiener Linien)

04
Figure 4: POPTIS is accessible from www.wl-barrierefrei.at

The main success factors for the POPTIS system in Vienna are:

  • Strong user involvement during the planning and development phase of the system
  • System is in daily use, and feedback from practical experience helps to continuously improve the system and keep the information up-to-date

Impact on demand

There are no studies regarding the impact of POPTIS on the public transport demand or on the mobility behaviour of the target group available. However, POPTIS is well known in the community of blind and visually impaired people in Vienna, and it is used in day to day mobility.

Impact on Supply

The public transport operator of Vienna is striving to improve the accessibility of public transport in Vienna, and POPTIS is one of the features and elements that help to make public transport in Vienna accessible for blind and visually impaired people. Since POPTIS is highly appreciated by the target group, in 2008 the project “ways4all” was started based on POPTIS, which is developing a further improved navigation system for blind and visually impaired people in public transport in Vienna, including navigation apps, WIFI and RFID sensors in the guidance system. (12)

Contribution to objectives

Contribution to objectives
Objective Scale of contribution Comment
  -
  -
  -
  Since POPTIS enables blind people and people with visual impairments, who cannot use the visual guidance systems, to use public transport in Vienna safely and confidently on their own, this measure supports the social inclusion of blind and visually impaired people in Vienna.
  -
  -
  -
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Contribution to objectives

Contribution to objectives
Objective Scale of contribution Comment
  -
  Accessible guidance systems help to make streets more inclusive and thus they become more liveable.
  -
  Accessible guidance systems enable people with reduced mobility to move along their day-to-day routes safely on their own, and thus increase their autonomy and self-reliance.
  Accessible guidance systems increase the safety of road users and help to prevent hazardous situations.
  -
  -
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

 

Contribution to alleviation of problems

Contribution to alleviation of key problems
Objective Scale of contribution Comment
Congestion -
Community impacts Accessible guidance systems help to make streets more accessible and by doing this they contribute to making streets more lively.
Environmental damage -
Poor accessibility Accessible guidance systems may help to increase the accessibility of neighbourhoods for people with reduced mobility.
Social and geographical disadvantage Accessible guidance systems may help people with reduced mobility to gain more autonomy and independent mobility, and thus support social inclusion and help to decrease social disadvantages.
Accidents Accessible guidance systems may help to decrease the number of road accidents, since they support road users to adhere to legal requirements and safety rules more easily.
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Appropriate contexts

Appropriate area-types
Area type Suitability
City centre
Dense inner suburb
Medium density outer suburb
Less dense outer suburb
District centre
Corridor
Small town
Tourist town
= Least suitable area type = Most suitable area type

Adverse side effects

Well-designed accessible guidance systems help all travellers to reach their destinations quickly and safely and should not have any adverse side effects. However, especially tactile paving and floor markings may have undesired negative effects on the safety, health, and comfort of people with walking impairments and people using wheeled mobility aids such as wheelchairs, wheeled walking frames, wheeled luggage, etc. Therefore, in order to be able to take into account the needs and specific requirements of all users, it is of utmost importance to involve representatives of all affected user groups already at the planning stage of guidance systems. Quite often the introduction of audio guidance systems, especially the introduction of acoustic signals, such as acoustic pedestrian traffic lights, door location signals, door operation signals, and the introduction of public audio information, such as “talking” signs and audio announcements in public transport, encounters resistance from neighbours and other public transport passengers. Thus for the success of the implementation of audio guidance systems, it is essential to include all affected groups in the planning process, and to accompany the introduction of audio guidance systems with information and awareness raising measures.

1. DfT. www.gov.uk. Guidance on the use of tactile paving surfaces. [Online] 2007. [Cited: 10 06 2014.] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-the-use-of-tactile-paving-surfaces.

2. I`DGO. www.idgo.ac.uk - The Design of Streets with Older People in Mind - Tactile Paving, Design Guide 003. . [Online] 2012. http://www.idgo.ac.uk/design_guidance/pdf/DSOPM-Tactile%20Paving-120904.pdf.

3. I'DGO. www.idgo.ac.uk - Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors - The Design of Streets with older People in Mind - Signage. [Online] http://www.idgo.ac.uk/design_guidance/factsheets/signage.htm.

4. www.graz.at - Grazer T. [Online] http://www.graz.at/cms/beitrag/10026642/421969/.

5. Constanze Koch-Schmuckerschlag, Oskar Kalamidas. www.graz.at - Barrierefreies Bauen für ALLE Menschen - Planungsgrundlagen. [Online] 2006. http://www.graz.at/cms/dokumente/10027263_421952/2e4efe39/Broschuere_BB_Web_01.pdf.

6. RSV - Der Reutlinger Stadtverkehr. [Online] [Cited: 10 06 2014.] http://www.stadtwerke-reutlingen.de/rsv/leitsystem.php?current=2.

7. Reutlinger Orientierungssystem zur Mobilitätserweiterung - Implementierung und Evaluation. [Online] 2008. [Cited: 10 06 2014.] http://opus.bsz-bw.de/hsrt/volltexte/2008/21/pdf/busssystem_zusammenfassg_008.pdf.

8. www.wienerlinien.at - Wiener Linien. [Online] [Cited: 12 06 2014.] http://www.wienerlinien.at/media/files/2014/barrierefrei%20unterwegs_29149.pdf.

9. Barrierefreie Website der Wiener Linien. www.wl-barrierefrei.at. [Online] [Cited: 12 06 2014.] http://www.wl-barrierefrei.at/index.php?id=8034.

10. Papst, Eva. Aus meiner Feder - http://aus-meiner-feder.at. POPTIS - Wenn das Gedächtnis nicht reicht. [Online] August 2010. [Cited: 12 06 2014.] http://aus-meiner-feder.at/alltag/poptis.php.

11. Roland, Krpata. Das Wiener Modell - POPTIS Entwicklung eines Navigationssystems für blinde und schwer sehbehinderte Fahrgäste. [Online] [Cited: 12 06 2014.] http://www.iktforum.at/IKTforum2006/Vortrag/Roland%20Krpata_POPTIS.pdf.

12. David, Kotrba. futurezone Technology News - Barrier-Free Navigation through the City . [Online] 31 01 2013. [Cited: 12 06 2014.] http://futurezone.at/english/barrier-free-navigation-through-the-city/24.591.073.

13. Reutlinger Orientierungssystem zur Mobilitätserweiterung - Implementierung und Evaluation. http://opus.bsz-bw.de/hsrt/volltexte/2008/21/pdf/busssystem_zusammenfassg_008.pdf : s.n., 2008.