Safety and Traffic Engineering

Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS)

Accessible sidewalks and street crossings are vital for pedestrians with vision impairments. Accessible Pedestrian Signals communicate information about the time of a crossing using non-visual formats such as audible tones, verbal messages, and/or vibrating surfaces.

Why Use Them

Research has found that APS improved crossing performance by blind pedestrians

  • More accurate judgments of the onset of the WALK interval
  • Reduction in crossings begun during DONT WALK
  • Reduced delay
  • Significantly more crossings completed before the signal changed

How They Work

APS can provide information to pedestrians about:

  • Existence of and location of the pushbutton
  • Beginning of the WALK interval
  • Direction of the crosswalk and location of the destination curb
  • Intersection street names in Braille, raised print, or through speech messages
  • Intersection signalization with a speech message
  • Intersection geometry through tactile maps and diagrams, or through speech messages