The installation of Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS) is an increasingly important use of evolving technology as a way to provide pedestrians who are blind or have low vision with information needed to cross streets and intersections. The use of various recognizable tones and messages is aimed at providing the same information to pedestrians with disabilities as pedestrian activated signal would provide to other pedestrians.
In 2006, SHA committed to making all pedestrian activated (push-button) signals APS signals, within 10 years. This would include retrofitting existing signals and newly constructed signals, as well as signals installed or rebuilt by developers as a condition of access onto state roads and at the request of people with disabilities to address specifically identified needs. Thus, SHA developed a broad-based program to install 1,250 APS by 2016. This number has increased to more than 1,600 signals since that time.
There is significant emphasis on this program within SHA because it is aimed at universal access. As of spring 2012, 46 percent of planned installations are completed, with approximately 800 signals remaining prior to the 2016 target date. There is also a significant funding commitment, including an additional $4 million in FY 2013 for APS where no other work is being done.
It is important to note that the information is NOT intended to alert a pedestrian that it is safe to cross; rather, the APS provides information about the conditions and status (red/green) of the signal at the intersection. The pedestrian, with the information in hand, is ultimately responsible for making the crossing decision, basis on the totality of information available, including training, the use of other audible cues such as hearing the direction of moving traffic, etc. Pedestrians who are blind or have low vision may wish to contact local Orientation and Mobility instructors for training at particularly complex intersections.
SHA’s ADA Policy Regarding Installation of Accessible Pedestrian Signals
Overview of SHA’s Program to Install APS (November, 2010)
Annual Progress Chart of Actual vs. Estimated Installations
Installation List – Completed, Scheduled and Anticipated Installations (Updated annually)
If there are concerns that a specific APS may not be functioning properly, please contact SHA through SHA’s customers service management system listed on the SHA homepage.