Sidewalks are a critical part of multi-modal transportation infrastructure, safe and easy pedestrian travel and healthy lifestyle choices. Sidewalk maintenance and design have a signifigane impact on pedestrian safety, mobility, accessability, and quality of life.  

The Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a tablet application to automatically assess sidewalk quality and overcome these barriers.  The software collects video, accelerometer, gyroscope, and GPS data.  These data are evaluated using video and sensor data processing technology to assess sidewalk width, surface roughness, absence of access ramps, and presence of obstructions.  Data are collected by attaching an app-equipped tablet to a standard wheelchair and walking it along any desired route.  

Researchers are engaging community members and stakeholders as volunteers to collect data throughout the region to achieve the goal of creating a comprehensive database of the City of Atlanta’s sidewalk system.  The data will be weighted and organized based on results from an expert survey on sidewalk quality.  Improving sidewalk conditions promotes pedestrian travel and healthy lifestyles and also provides increased accessibility to transit and equitable access to the public including to people with physical disabilities.