Development of a measuring chair for evaluating the quality of pedestrian pavements
At present, both nationally or internationally, no objective tool exists that can be used to evaluate the quality of pedestrian pavements quickly, continuously, and cost-effectively. BRRC has therefore decided to develop a measuring instrument to evaluate pavements on three criteria that are of fundamental importance for pedestrians:
- evenness (comfort);
- slip resistance;
- slope (crossfall and gradient).
In 2016, BRRC developed a prototype I in the form of a wheelchair on which smartphones equipped with GPS and accelerometer are attached. These functions are available by default on all smartphones and provide numerical values relating to the comfort of the surface (from 1 to 10). This comfort is evaluated by means of the accelerometer, which measures vertical accelerations and communicates the surface of the pavement to the wheelchair and then to the user.
In addition, BRRC has a separate instrument for measuring the slip resistance of pavements, called the Portable Friction Tester or PFT. By the end of 2016, this prototype I was used to perform PFT measurements at eleven test sites, each with a different pavement in the centre of Brussels.
In April 2017, BRRC, in collaboration with Bruxelles Mobilité, had different road users evaluate the slip resistance and evenness at eleven sites to check whether the results of the measuring instruments corresponded to the perception of the pedestrians. The idea of comfort as experienced by the test users corresponded to the data provided by the prototype.
These positive results encouraged BRRC to develop a new prototype in 2017 with several objectives in mind. To discover these objectives, as well as the applications of this equipment in the field, visit our website in French or Dutch.