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Winter Pedestrianism: Mobility and Well-Being  Icy surfaces are one of the leading causes of falls, but the focus of research is on indoor.

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Presentation on theme: "Winter Pedestrianism: Mobility and Well-Being  Icy surfaces are one of the leading causes of falls, but the focus of research is on indoor."— Presentation transcript:







7 Winter Pedestrianism: Mobility and Well-Being  Icy surfaces are one of the leading causes of falls, but the focus of research is on indoor falls related to work environments and long-term care settings for the elderly  Icy and snowy surfaces near melting temperatures are actually more slippery than wet indoor floors  What can research inform?  Understanding of how winter conditions impact mobility  Public health interventions that predict the risk of slips and falls on winter sidewalks  Long-term goal of a pedestrian-friendly winter environment

8 Winter Pedestrianism: Mobility and Well-Being  Friction of ice is a complex problem  Intrinsic and extrinsic factors that are part of a systematic approach in enhancing the capacity to predict slipperiness of winter walkways  Research on winter pedestrianism has been conducted primarily in northern Europe and Japan  Focus on mechanical test methods illustrates the need for complimentary human-centred approaches  There are gaps in knowledge regarding how pedestrians respond to varying conditions such as loose snow and ice

9 Measuring Slipperiness  Friction of Ice: Slipping occurs when the coefficient of friction (COF) between footwear and a walkway surface provides insufficient resistance to counteract the resulting force (Gao and Abeysekera 2004, 573).  Mechanically-based measurements of slipperiness  Mechanical slip-test methodology with friction-based criteria  Biomechanics of walking: four cycles of gait  Slip-resistant footwear  Snow clearing and treatments

10 Measuring Slipperiness  Finish Meteorological Institute: Winter Pavement Condition Predictive Model  Measurement of surface thickness  Estimate of prevailing friction  Limitations of measurement when high snow accumulation

11 Mobile Methods: Becoming a Winter Pedestrian  The body is the medium and movement is part of the multisensory experience that mediates the senses creating a person’s sense of place (Sunderland et al. 2012).  2009-2010 - Five months of fieldwork  Predetermined routes, priority levels (P1, P2, P3)  Narrative of Place  Observation notes  Photographs  Reflective journal

12 Weather  Preparation  Footwear  Fatigue  Thermal environment and human gait “It was a natural reaction for me to shield my face as I felt the cold air on my skin. It was uncomfortable, even if I was dressed adequately for the weather”

13 Surface Conditions “You need a lot of endurance and good balance so you won’t fall when your feet sink into the snow.”  Snow clearing and storage  Inequalities forced upon winter walkers:  Those who can  Those who cannot

14 Walking  Mobile practice: the inter-linkages of  Weather conditions  Surface conditions  Gait and postural response to adapt to conditions  Sensory cues: how pedestrians respond  Sensory perception: sound, visual, tactile “As the temperature began to rise, the dry, compacted snow of the winter became smooth and slippery. With the continued melt, my feet began to sink into the snow, which became icy, wet and soft.”


16 Winter Pedestrianism: Moving Forward  Public reaction to Surefoot and FMI pavement condition model: Need for education and awareness of diverse pedestrian needs  Need for a multi-method approach to investigate winter walking conditions  Empirical measures  Perceptions of winter walking safety  Model of Winter Walking

17 Slush DifficultyWeather Sidealk Surface Conditions Walking Difficult Cold periods folowing temporary melting Icy in the morning Pedestrians may slip as a result of walking too fast; must adapt their perceptios of the changing envirionment First wet snowfall of the Season Accumulation of lose snow Pedestrians alter their pace of walking in order to compare the slipperiness of sidewalks to the sidewalks conditions of the summer. They test the slipperiness of sidewalks by sliding their feet on the sidewalk in order to get a sense of their footing, and personal ability slushy Pedestrians lift their feet higher and let them down slower to avoid getting their socks/feet wet in slushy conditions Wheelchairs may get stuck in slushy conditions Moderate "Transition" period into cold winter climate; temperatures fluctuate above and below freezing Wet sidewalks in the afternoon Wet sidewalks mean that there may be ice present. Pedestrians slide their feet on the sidewalk to test for slipperiness. Puddles Visual inspection of puddles for ice formation Mostly bare pavement, some isolated slippery sections Pedestrians avoid walking through puddles Temperatures gradually falling below freezing Compacted snow The sound of crunching on frozen slush/snow means that there are uneven surface conditions present, and slippery sections. Pedestrians step carefully, making sure their weight is properly distributed before taking their next step Uneven surfaces Pedestrians may trip on uneven surfaces, must lift feet higher Frozen slush Easy Temperatures above freezing, and dry BarePedestrians walk at normal pace Gritty No walking barriers Sidewalks safe for everyone


19 Snow DifficultyWeatherSidewalk Surface ConditionsWalking Hazardous Freezing rain (ice storm) Extremely slippery ice accumulation Pedestrians walk slower, and exaggerate their pattern of movement on the extremely slippery ice layer in order to maintain their balance and footing Feet sliding uncontrollably, involuntary movements to keep balance Small steps High windsLoose snow, exceeding 5 cm accumulationHolding onto fixed objects, such as railings, posts, etc. Older adults and persons with mobility challenges are unable to go out. No access to sidewalks. Frequent major driftsCautiously approaching intersections and downward gradients, staying away from curbs to avoid slipping into traffic BlizzardsIcy with snow on topPedestrians become fatigued from walking through loose snow and snow drifts; must lift feet higher, becomes tiring Pedestrians are unable to see ice beneath the snow. They walk more cautiously, ensuring proper footing before taking their next step. Difficult Snow Loose snow, 0-5 cm accumulation People in wheelchairs need assistance to push them through loose snow and uneven surfaces Minor snow driftsOlder adults and people using walking aides walk very slowly, taking small steps, relying on mobility aides for balance Narrow foot-packed trails in loose snowNo room for more than one pedestrian on sidewalk. Pedestrians must step off of sidewalk if possible to let the other person pass Icy WindIcy with snow on topPedestrians frequently have to step over obstructions. Must step over snow ridges, snow mounds, and other uneven surfaces to access bus stops and to get over the curb to access the sidewalk. Requires good balance to keep from slipping over hardened, compacted snow Bus stops obstructed by excess from snow removal process Removal of snow from streets forms snow ridges alongside curbs Pedestrians may trip over uneven surfaces as hard, compacted snow becomes slippery Snow mounds caused by snow removal Moderate Temperatures stabilized below freezing Clear, dry compacted snow Pedestrians walk faster with shoulders hunched, head down in jacket collar, face shielded from wind, arms stiff, shuffling feet to stay warm Compacted snow, some melting agents applied Pedestrians try to avoid open areas, seeking shelter to stay out of wind


21 Ice DifficultyWeatherSidealk Surface ConditionsWalking Hazardous Temperature above freezing during day, drops well below freezing at night Extremely icy and slippery Visual inspection of sidewealk required to assess risk, and to determine what safety precautions to take to avoid an accidental slip or fall. Pattern of movement is erratic as pedestrians avoid hazards, including icy sections, snow, slush, and water. Pedestrians do not wak in a linear direction. May step off sidewalk, walk on street, or exposed ground alongside sidewalk Freezing rainIce with water on topFeet sliding uncontrollably, involuntary movements to keep balance SlushySmall steps Ponded water/water runoff, obstructing large sections of sidewalks Older adults and people with mobility challenges are unable to go out due to extremely slippery conditions. Sidewalks are hazardous for everyone Thin layer of ice forms on water surfacesPedestrians avoid walking in puddles; walk on street to avoid sections of sidewalk obstructed by water runoff Difficult Temperatures near freezing Dry, compacted snow becomes smooth and slippery; snow then becomes icy, wet, and soft Older adults and people with mobility need assistance; require an able-bodied person to hold arm and walk alongside them Icy in the morning, wet in afternoon Able-bodied pedestrians may slide their feet on smooth and slippery snow like they are skating or cross-country skiiing Thin layer of ice forms on water surfaces Pedestrians may loose balance and accidentally step into slush or water (wet feet) in order to keep from falling Slush Ponded water/water runoff, obstructing large sections of sidewalk Easy Temperature stabilizes above freezing BarePedestrians walk at normal pace DryBare and grittyNo walking barriers RainBare and drySidewalks safe for everyone

22 Walking on Ice: Winter 2013-14  Mobile Practice  Rhythmic movement of feet: gait and balance  Sensory vocabulary of conditions  Street Audits  One block, repeated observations  Level of difficulty, variability of conditions  Snow clearing, treatment  Bus stop  Intersection Counts  High mobility versus low mobility

23 Walking on Ice: Winter 2013-14 I had a micro-slip on two occasions when I encountered an invisible accumulation of slush and snow on the sidewalk. The process of the micro-slip occurred at the toe-off position, when the heal slid counterclockwise. The opposite heel that was in the stationary position involuntarily turned clockwise with the sliding heel, and my body turning nearly 90 degrees.



26 Greying on Ice: Winter 2013-14  Ageing, mobility and transportation disadvantage 1)Initial survey of travel behaviour, impact of poor sidewalk conditions 2)Sidewalk assessment exercise 3)Travel Logs 4)Walk Alongs  Videographic recording of walking route  Qualitative interview to seek experience of winter walking, recorded

27 Future Research  Urban Sustainability  Planning and design for winter cities  Identification of walkable communities  Connectivity  Snow clearing and storage  Wind

28 Thank You Questions

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