Analysis of walking speeds involving individuals with disabilities in different indoor walking environments

Mohammad Sadra Sharifi, Daniel Stuart, Keith Christensen, Anthony Chen, Yong Seog Kim, Yang Quan Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Walking facilities are important infrastructures in communities. These facilities should be designed to accommodate the needs of all types of pedestrians. Unfortunately, existing design guidelines fail to offer adequate consideration for individuals with disabilities owing to a lack of empirical data. To address this knowledge gap, a controlled large-scale research project was conducted at Utah State University (USU) to study the walking behavior of people with various types of disabilities in various indoor walking facilities. These facilities included a passageway, different types of angles (right and oblique), bottleneck, and stairwells. The purpose of this paper is twofold: to examine the impacts of individuals with disabilities on crowd walking speed, and to study the impacts of different indoor walking facilities on the movements of various pedestrian groups. Results show that the presence of individuals with disabilities in a crowd significantly reduces the overall crowd speed. Statistical analysis also reveals similarities and differences between the walking speeds of various pedestrian groups. A regression model is calibrated to predict the speed of various types of individuals with disabilities in different indoor walking facilities. The findings of this paper may help urban planners and walking facility designers consider the needs of people with disabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04015010
JournalJournal of Urban Planning and Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Built environment
  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Pedestrian walking behavior
  • Walking environment
  • Walking speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies


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