Safe and Accessible Pedestrian Facilities Inventory Model (SAPFIM) Scope

(Center Identification Number: 79061-02-B)

Principal Investigator:

Fabian Cevallos, Ph.D.
Transit Program Director
Lehman Center for Transportation Research (LCTR) Florida International University (FIU)
10555 West Flagler Street, EC 3609
Miami, FL 33174
Phone: (305) 348-3144

Project Scope:

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is seeking to develop and deploy a tool that State Transportation Agencies (STAs), Local Public Agencies (LPAs), and/or Metropolitan Transportation Organizations (MPOs) can use to evaluate safety and accessibility of existing pedestrian facilities, and schedule and prioritize improvements. The working title of the tool is Safe Accessible Pedestrian Facilities Inventory Model (SAPFIM).

The SAPFIM concept is the result of factors. First, Florida and its public agencies continue to rank among the top locations nationally for pedestrian fatalities. Under the FDOT Strategic Highway Safety Plan, vulnerable road users (bicyclists, pedestrians & motorcyclists) are an Emphasis Area Team focus on providing local and state agencies with the data, skills: and tools to identify effective safety countermeasures; to make strategic safety investments and focus resources where opportunities for safety improvements are greatest for vulnerable road users; and establish mobility strategies consistent with safety for these users.

Second, public agencies struggle with developing system-wide plans for addressing concerns on pedestrian 1ights of way, not just safety improvements, but also those providing accessibility. 28 CFR Part 35 and other federal regulations that implement the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), require that facilities provided by state and local governments be both accessible and usable. “Facility” is interpreted broadly, and includes surfaces, features and devices along pedestrian paths of travel. Public agencies are also required to conduct evaluations of their facilities and, in many cases, develop plans for addressing deficiencies.

Finally, funding is increasingly uncertain even as STAs, LPAs, and MPOs tum more to complete streets planning, requiring holistic, multimodal and context sensitive transportation decision making. Public agencies need cost effective, tech savvy tools that support safety and equity goals, but also make best use of available transportation funds.

Using smart tablets with GPS, camera, and wireless connectivity, SAPFIM will allow users to identify pedestrian facilities, inventory their level of compliance, photograph conditions, and map locations to help prioritize features and areas of greatest need using criteria outlined by the AASHTO Highway Safety Manual, the 2010 ADA Standards for Transportation Facilities, the proposed Guidelines for Accessible Public Rights of Way, FDOT Plans Preparation Manual, and FDOT Design Standards. SAPFIM inventory and condition information will be easily uploaded to a remote website and include data management tools that can help incorporate high priority needs into work programs.

The user interface/input screens for SAPFIM will be organized to permit relatively inexperienced users to be able to visit a project site and, using smart tablets and simple measuring tools (tape measure, level/Smart-Level, etc.), collect and upload pertinent data into the SAPFIM web-based system. Reports, charts, and maps will be in formats suitable for public view and posting, both on websites and printed media.

SAPFIM development and implementation is a cooperative effort between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Florida International University (FIU).

Project Objectives

The main objective of this scope of work is to develop the SAPFIM tool: a web-based software application that local agencies can use for the collection, storage, querying, and reporting of pedestrian facilities.

The Lehman, Center for Transportation Research (LCTR) at Florida International University (FIU) has expertize developing web-based systems in the field of transportation. This project is intended to develop a software tool that can be used by local agencies for the assessment of pedestrian facilities. It will include accessible and safety features associated with sidewalks, curb ramps, roadway crossings, pedestrian signals, etc. Data will be collected using field devices (i.e., tablets with OPS, camera, and wireless capability) which can be uploaded directly into the web server.

To achieve this, the FIU research team proposes a series of work tasks that include software development, testing, and producing the training materials and User’s Guide.


The SAPFIM scope of work will be completed in five phases, taking approximately a total twelve months, with some activities overlapping the various phases.

Task 1: Project Work Plan

The main objective of phase one is to create a work plan to design the web elements, data fields, and overall structure of the SAPFlM application. This task will include a review of the pedestrian facilities documentation, ADA considerations, and holding meetings with the main stakeholders from FDOT, FHWA, and Broward MPO. The team will pay special attention to guidelines, design practices, and construction and maintenance of pedestrian facilities. The team will also explore how local government agencies collect and maintain the data in their database systems. It is expected that the outcome of this task will help the team gain enough information for a better understanding of the data needs and the design of the software interface of the web-based system for pedestrian facilities.

The first phase is expected to take no more than 90 days, beginning with contract execution in January 2016. This task will serve as a general guideline for all the milestones according to the proposed schedule.

The research team will prepare a brief work plan for the next steps of this project which will include a preliminary description of the SAPFIM application and its main elements.

Task 2: Software Development

Based on the work from Task 1, SAPFIM will be designed and developed. This will include the user interface and the database for the collection, storage, and management of pedestrian facilities data.

The application will be developed to collect data from pedestrian facilities in order to efficiently assess the conditions of pedestrian facilities such as sidewalks along public rights of way. The web­based application will be developed with Microsoft Visual Studio and will use Microsoft SQL Server as the back-end database.

The main objective of this task will be the creation of the database and the creation of the user interface of the software application:

  • Database: This includes the creation and setup of the SQL server database which will be the back end of the software application.
  • User Interface: In this step, the user interface of the web application will be created. This is expected to be the longest phase.

The main elements of SAPFIM are expected to include Data Collection, Work Orders, Data Management, and Maps: it will allow users to view and print current maps using Google Maps. The user interface or input screens for SAPFIM will be organized in a logical manner to make the application user-friendly. This will permit relatively inexperienced users to be able to collect and enter the pertinent data into the web-based system, using a tablet and simple measuring tools (tape measure, level/smart-level, etc.) The data will be uploaded wirelessly into a web server for storage. The system will also allow for the management of the data allowing users to query and export the data or generate report. Reports, charts, maps, etc. will be presented in commonly used formats (e.g., pdf and jpg).

During this phase, two devices will be used: 1) Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 and 2) iPad Air. Both devices are among the top 10” tablets available in the market. They have GPS, a camera, and wireless communications which are requirements for this project.

Provide a Technical memo describing the SAPFIM application. This task is expected to be completed in July of 2016.

Task 3: Software Testing

After the application is developed, it will be tested to make sure that the software meets the proposed requirements. This task includes a complete testing of the software, which will ensure that the software is free of bugs and that it will provide opportunities to improve the application. During this phase, device testing, wireless communication testing, database testing, and overall system testing are done. FIU will address any technical issues or inefficiencies identified during this task.

This task will also include a training session for the Broward MPO and local agencies interested in testing the SAPFIM application. Two tablets will be provided to the agencies, so they can test the application.

Provide a Technical memo desc1ibing the testing activities. This includes a description of the elements of the software that were modified, if any issues were identified during this task. This task is expected to be completed in September of 2016.

Task 4: Final Documents

This task allows the FlU team to prepare the SAPFIM training materials and the User’s Guide. The training materials include a PowerPoint Presentation and training handouts. They will cover in detail all the elements of SAPFIM, so it can help the local agencies with the usage and manage of the software application.

Provide a PowerPoint Presentation and the SAPFIM User’s Guide in electronic format. This task is expected to be completed in October of 2016.

Task 5: Training and Promotion of SAPFlM

In order for the local agencies to have a good understanding and take full advantage of the features in SAPFIM, training is necessary. As part of this task, a training session in coordination with FDOT, FHWA, and the Broward MPO, will be conducted. The training session is expected to take place at the Broward MPO. The training will include classroom and field sessions. The research team will coordinate the training with the FDOT Project manager. FIU will set up and provide all materials for the training: SAPFIM User’s Guide and handouts of the presentation. In addition, the training materials and User’s Guide will be made available to stakeholder agencies for promotion of SAPFIM.

Training course materials, a PowerPoint presentation, and a notice to the local agencies, will be provided. The training is expected to be accomplished in December of 2016. The FIU team will print 25 handouts of the PowerPoint Presentation and a CD with the PowerPoint Presentation and the User’s Guide. This task is expected to be completed in December of 2016.

Designated Personnel

Dr. Fabian Cevallos, Transit Program Director at LCTR, will serve as Principal Investigator (PI) and will be responsible for the overall management and progress of the project. He will assist with the functional design and specifications, quality control, system testing, and will conduct the on-site demonstrations and training.

Dr. Albert Gan at LCTR will serve as Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) and will assist with the overall development, testing, and review of the training materials and user’s guide.

Mr. Haifeng Wang, Senior Programmer with LCTR, will be responsible for the SAPFIM programming and database tasks as well as the technical support.

Ms.Thalia Pickering, Web Designer at LCTR, will be responsible for the graphic design, web development, training materials, and the user’s guide.

Graduate students and other Research Assistants may be used to field-test the draft application prior to delivery and possibly participate in the initial training for the Department and pilot user agencies.

Project Schedule

The total performance period for this project is 12 months.


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