ACCESSIBLE PEDESTRIAN SIGNALS (APS)

An Accessible Pedestrian Signal (APS) is a device that communicates the information provided by pedestrian signal heads in non-visual formats (i.e. audible tones, messages and vibrotactile indications) to pedestrians with blindness or low vision.

7,485+
pedestrians killed yearly

32 MILLION
adults in the U.S. have vision loss

15%
oF THE WOrld’s population experience disability
7,485+
pedestrians killed yearly
32 million
adults in the U.S. have vision loss

15%
world’s population experience disability

Accessibility Requirements

 
ADA Compliant

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Federal law that requires agencies to make public facilities accessible.

  • Agencies must ensure equal access to services and communications
  • Operable parts must be usable with one hand
  • Must not require more than 5 lbs force to operate

Learn more about ADA guidelines

PROWAG

Public Rights of Way Accessibility Guidelines (ADA)

Technical standards that cover pedestrian access to public rights of way.

  • APS must be provided at all street crossings with pedestrian signals
  • Crosswalks must be upgraded to APS whenever the signal controller and software are altered, or the signal head is replaced
  • APS and push buttons must comply with MUTCD sections 4E.08 – 4E.13

Learn more about PROWAG guidelines

MUTCD Compliant

Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)

Guidance and standards for traffic control devices on public roadways.

  • APS must clearly indicate which crossing is served by each device
  • Must feature both audible and vibrotactile walk indications
  • Must have a locator tone that beeps for .15 seconds or less, and repeat at 1-second intervals

Learn more about MUTCD guidelines

What are accessible pedestrian signals?

Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS) are devices that provide auditory, visual, and vibrotactile information to pedestrians who are blind or who have low vision, who may also have hearing loss, so they can know when they should begin to cross at a signalized intersection.

APS translate visual pedestrian signal information to other sensory formats, enabling people with disabilities to navigate cities safely and comfortably.

What are accessible pedestrian signals?

Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS) are specialized devices designed to help pedestrians who are visually impaired or blind cross streets safely. They provide audible and/or vibrotactile information about pedestrian crossing times and traffic signal phases.

Detail of a Polara APS; a crosswalk button with a yellow case, black button, and silver arrow.

MEET THE iDS

A flexible & feature-rich touchless Accessible Pedestrian Signal

  • Communicates information about the signal phases at intersections in non-visual formats for pedestrians with vision and hearing loss
  • Touchless activation with accurate, customizable radar (iDS)
  • Compact push button station with ultra-durable Hall-effect switch rated to 20 million+ operations
  • Program wirelessly from your phone, without costly devices or software
  • ADA, MUTCD, PROWAG, and Buy America compliant
  • The only APS on the market that can be easily installed at both pre-timed crosswalks (using a three-wire ped head system) and pedestrian actuated crosswalks (using a two-wire cabinet system)

iDS 

Our new iDS (iDetect) model provides touchless activation with inconspicuous, weather-proof radar and an adjustable detection range of 1-20 inches.

iNS

Our industry-leading APS provides audible indications (tone and/or speech message) to blind and visually impaired pedestrians with the push of a button.

LEARN

Pedestrian Safety and Universal Access

Accessible Pedestrian Signal FAQs

What are accessible pedestrian signals (APS)?

Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS) are devices that provide auditory, visual, and tactile information to pedestrians with vision and hearing loss so they can know when it is safe to cross at a signalized intersection. They essentially translate pedestrian warning signals to other sensory formats, enabling people with disabilities to navigate cities safely and comfortably. [Learn more about APS]

Who are APS for?

Although APS are generally targeted toward people who are blind or have vision loss, their benefits are not limited to a single demographic. Correctly installed and configured, they are a key component of an accessible, inclusive transportation system, facilitating safe, autonomous mobility regardless of age or ability.

What APS features should I know about?

Modern APS come with a variety of features designed to help pedestrians with vision and hearing loss navigate intersections safely and confidently. These include, but are not limited to, locator tones, tactile arrows, audible and vibrotactile indications, touchless activation and more. [See more features]

What laws and requirements do you need to follow for APS?

Mobility is a human right, and in the U.S., a number of federal laws and regulations exist to protect this right. The three main ones you should be aware of when it comes to APS are the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG), and the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). [Learn more about accessibility requirements]

What are the ADA distance requirements for push buttons? (distance from curb, from other buttons, clear space around the pole, etc.)

Here’s a link to our handy guide!

What’s the difference between APS and audible information devices (AID)?

APS are used at crossings where visual Walk/Don’t Walk signals are used, to give pedestrians with vision loss equivalent information audibly. AID are used at crossings with flashing warning lights that warn vehicles of the presence of a crossing pedestrian, such as rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs), HAWK signals, in roadway warning lights, and others

What’s the difference between a 2- and 3-wire APS?

Broadly speaking, two-wire systems are designed for intersections where pedestrian signals and call buttons are already present, and three-wire systems are for intersections without them. A two-wire system installs in the traffic cabinet; a three-wire installs in the ped head. Learn more about Polara’s 2- versus 3-wire systems.

What is the difference between the iDS and the iNS?

The iNS is our standard accessible crosswalk push button station. The iDS includes all of the quality and features of the iNS, plus it has iDetect, an intelligent radar motion-detection sensor for touchless activation.