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

Interactive | Media

How Accessible Pedestrian Signals Work

This video shows an example of the proper way to use accessible pedestrian pushbuttons. They’ve been installed in compliance with ADA to help everyone cross the street safely.