Accessible Pedestrian Signals: Installation recommendations
Installation in the proper location and orientation in relation to the crosswalk is important for the use of APS, particularly for devices integrated into the pushbutton.
Recent research and the MUTCD recommend that each APS device should be on a separate pole, located as close as possible to the curb line, and as close as possible to the crosswalk line that is furthest from the center of the intersection. APS pushbuttons must be adjacent to a level surface and mounted no more than 48″ above the sidewalk surface to be accessible to wheelchair users. In addition, required device features include a pushbutton locator tone, a tactile arrow oriented parallel to the direction of travel on the associated crosswalk, automatic volume adjustment, and audible and vibrotactile walk indications. Braille street name information on the APS is also desirable.
Two APS on a corner should be at least 10 feet apart in order for pedestrians to easily distinguish which device is sounding. In that case, both APS are required to have a rapid tick WALK indication; the location clarifies which crosswalk the APS is signaling. The rapid tick is a rapidly repeating percussive sound at 8 to 10 repetitions per second which sounds during the walk interval.
Where it is technically infeasible to install two APS pushbuttons (and speakers) on two separated poles at least 10 feet apart on a corner, speech WALK messages are required, following the model “[street name], walk sign is on to cross [street name]”. For example, the speech message from the APS for crossing Peachtree Street would say “Peachtree, walk sign is on the cross Peachtree. Peachtree, walk sign is on to cross Peachtree” during the walk interval. If speech messages are used, it’s essential that the pedestrian know the name of the street being crossed. An additional feature, a pushbutton information message, is needed on the device to provide street name information to the pedestrian who is unfamiliar with the intersection. The pushbutton information message provides the name of the street controlled by the pushbutton, when the button is pushed and held for more than one second during the flashing or steady don’t walk interval.
Common Installation Problems
Read about some of the most common mistakes made in installing APS and solutions to those problems in this publication developed for the Access Board: Common Problems Arising in the Installation of Accessible Pedestrian Signals