Winter Accessibility Survey for pedestrians

The research branch of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute is doing some really interesting scientific research on pedestrian behaviour and creating safer pedestrian environments.

They’re looking for people to take part in a “Winter Accessibility Survey on Universal Design and the Built Environment.” It’s good timing, as we still have in mind the difficulties created by the huge snowfalls this particular winter. The survey is on-line and easy to complete. Here’s a chance to do something that could help lead to better winter conditions for pedestrians in the future. From Toronto Rehab:

The purpose of the survey is to assess users’ performance of routine activities at different public settings (e.g. sidewalks, curb ramps and crosswalks) as a measure of universally designed environments’ effectiveness in the winter weather. Anyone who is 18 years of age or older is invited to participate in this survey. The survey takes approximately 10 to 20 minutes to complete. By participating in the survey you will be invited to enter your name in a draw to win one of three $100 cash prizes.

Click here to participate in the Winter Accessibility Survey on Universal Design

Your participation in this research study is extremely valuable. Your responses could help increase the knowledge of the accessibility and usability of the public settings in the winter.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at or by phone at (416) 849-4340 x 214.

The Toronto Rehab research group also has a Facebook group called “Sidewalk wipeouts!” to collect stories of slips and falls on snowy sidewalks. You can add your story while the memory of the snow still lingers.

As well, they sometimes conduct more intensive studies where you go into the lab under various environments or more actively look at your walking experiences. If you’re interested in taking part in something like that, send them an email.

photo by David Michael Lamb 


  1. One thing I noted travelling around this winter was that somehow, someone had usually cleared away the snowbanks on both sides of the ads on the streetbins to make sure the ads were visible. Meanwhile, often the pedestrian areas/corners nearby these bins were rough to sodden to impassable. Bike lanes were also spotty.
    So there’s no contract to provide safe, dry passage for peds and cyclists as we’ve blown the budget after doing this for cars.

  2. Took the survey but not sure results will tell us anything. Same format of questions lazily repeated and unclear what they are trying to find out. Is this for real, or is somebody creating a mailing lists of how much people earn and where they live? Suspicious.

  3. Ken > it is definitely real, I got the link from the lead researcher. Though I agree the questionnaire was a bit loose in places. But it’s one part of a larger project, and I expect it will provide some useful information for the project.

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