Prioritizing APS Installations

The information regarding prioritizing intersections for installation of APS is not intended for application to new or reconstructed intersections. In new construction or reconstruction projects, it is appropriate to consider the Proposed Accessibility Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities in the Public Right-of-Way (proposed PROWAG) or Draft PROWAG as the best guidance available at this time (Isler memo, 2006). In new construction, APS should be installed wherever pedestrian signals are installed.

Where are APS needed?

When considering and prioritizing crossings and intersections for retrofit with APS, consideration needs to be given to the information available to pedestrians who are blind and which crossings are in greater need of the APS. A number of factors enter into that decision.

MUTCD Guidance

The MUTCD Section 4E.0 9 recommends: " If a particular signalized location presents difficulties for pedestrians who have visual disabilities to cross the roadway, an engineering study should be conducted that considers the needs of pedestrians in general, as well as the information needs of pedestrians with visual disabilities. The engineering study should consider the following factors:

The installation of accessible pedestrian signals at signalized locations should be based on an engineering study, which should consider the following factors:

Additional considerations

Locations that may need APS include those with:

Where these conditions occur, it may be impossible for pedestrians who are visually impaired or blind to determine the onset of the WALK interval by listening for the onset of parallel traffic. It would also be difficult to obtain usable orientation and directional information about the crossing from the cues that are available. Too little traffic is as great a problem for pedestrians who are blind as too much traffic. In the absence of APS, blind pedestrians must be able to hear a surge of traffic parallel to their direction of travel in order to know when the WALK interval begins.

Advisory committee involvement

Some jurisdictions may wish to set up a process where ratings are reviewed by an advisory committee of stakeholders, including blind citizens, O&M Specialists and transportation professionals, that assists the traffic engineering department in the process.

In many of the current systems used, crossings with the highest number of points are generally considered highest priority. However, date of request, plans for other construction at the intersection, and other local issues may affect priority of installations.

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