Traffic Engineering and Orientation and Mobility:
December 13, 2022 - 8:00am-4:00pm
Come join us for a day of mutual discovery and learning . . .
Janet Barlow was dedicated to SOMA. She was devoted to the education of Orientation and Mobility Specialists, and she was committed to enabling and improving communications between the transportation engineering profession and the orientation and mobility profession to the benefit of both.
When Janet died in 2021 a fund was established to continue her mission to have orientation and mobility specialists collaborating with traffic engineers. Because of Janet's dedication to SOMA, it was decided that this was THE best venue to begin. So today we honor Janet with the first product of the Barlow Initiative ; a day dedicated to deeper understanding between orientation and mobility specialists and traffic engineers, with a goal of improving safe access to the streets and sidewalks of our cities for pedestrians who are blind or who have low vision.
Janet believed in active learning and pioneered the concept of "feet in the street" as part of each SOMA conference. For this reason, no Janet Barlow Collaboration Initiative would be complete without time spent physically on the streets and sidewalks collaborating among traffic engineers and orientation and mobility specialists to explore, discuss and learn together.
Come and join us for a day of mutual discovery and learning about issues in geometry and traffic control at urban intersections that are challenging for both traffic engineers and pedestrians who are blind or who have low vision.
John Hibbard, traffic engineer for Georgia Department of Transportation, Janet's "first traffic engineer," will begin the day talking about how signals, including complex multiphase signals work, and why. In the afternoon, he will lead off with a presentation about what it's like to be a traffic engineer. John has worked for a city, a private engineering organization, and is now with the Georgia DOT. His presentation will help orientation and mobility specialists appreciate the complexity involved in actually making changes to make public rights-of-way more accessible to people who are blind or who have low vision.
In the latter part of the morning, we'll be in small groups including an engineer, at intersections that are challenging to people who are blind or have low vision, problem-solving together about making them more accessible. In the latter part of the afternoon, we'll gather in small groups, including an engineer, and work together on solving complex geometric problems such as wayfinding at skewed intersections, aligning where information is missing, and accessing floating bus stops.
Registration for this full day of learning together, both in meeting rooms and on the streets of Tampa, will be limited to the first 50 participants who register for the Janet Barlow Collaboration Initiative. You will be contacted by Jennifer Graham once you've registered for this session. We will take names for a waiting list and will notify you of your spot on that list via email.
8:00-9:40 - Morning General Session open to all SOMA attendees with John Hibbard (traffic engineer) to discuss how traffic signals and timing/actuation work
9:40-10:00 - break
**Rest of day is only for the 50 confirmed participants who registered** 10:00-11:30 - on the street exercise with traffic engineers
11:30-12:30pm - wrap up and lunch
12:30-2:00 - Afternoon General Session with John Hibbard on how to build relationships with traffic engineers and O&Mers
2:00-2:15 - break
2:15-3:30 - small group break outs to discuss problem intersections, design implications, funding options, etc.
3:30-4:00pm - wrap up