Accessible pedestrian signals (APS) are pedestrian signals that are specifically designed to assist people with visual impairments in crossing streets safely. These signals typically include audible tones or verbal messages that indicate when it is safe for pedestrians to cross the street, as well as tactile or vibrating cues that can be felt by the pedestrian to confirm the information.
APS can be a valuable tool for helping people with visual impairments to navigate the streets independently and safely.
How to Request an APS
Identify the location:
The first step in requesting an APS is to identify the specific location where you would like the APS to be installed. This can be a particular intersection or crosswalk, or any other location where pedestrians with visual impairments may need assistance in crossing the street safely.
Contact the appropriate agency:
The next step is to contact the agency or organization responsible for managing the traffic signals at the location where you would like the APS to be installed. This may be a local municipality, transportation agency, or other organization depending on the location.
Provide information about the request:
When you contact the appropriate agency, be prepared to provide them with information about why you are requesting an APS and how it will benefit the community. This can include details about the location, the specific needs of pedestrians with visual impairments, and any other relevant information that will help the agency understand your request.
Follow up on the request:
Once the request has been made, follow up with the agency to ensure that it is is being considered and to provide any additional information or assistance that may be needed. It may take some time for the agency to review and respond, so be patient and persistent in following up on the status of the request.
Request an APS:
Alternatively, you can use Polara’s “Request an APS” document to help you fill out the details required to share with the appropriate agency.
Polara’s “Request An APS” Document
Polara has created a handy document, which includes a sample letter along with an APS brochure. This document can easily be filled and shared for requesting to have an accessible signal installed where it would be beneficial to you.
Download the Document: Polara Request an APS
This type of letter would typically be sent to your local Traffic Engineer, City Accessibilities coordinator, City Council Member or Mayor. If you do not receive a response within four weeks of your first request, you should send a second letter with a second request. If you still do not receive a response, you should send a letter to your Mayor or City Council member. Let him/her know you have not received a response to your requests and include copies of your previous two letters.
Benefits of Accessible Pedestrian Signals
One of the main benefits of an Accessible Pedestrian Signal is that they can help to improve safety for pedestrians with visual impairments by providing audible, tactile, or vibrating cues that indicate when it is safe to cross the street.
By providing clear and consistent information about when it is safe to cross the street, APS can help people with visual impairments to navigate the streets more easily and independently.
Compliance with laws and regulations:
In many jurisdictions, the use of APS is required by law or regulation in order to ensure that intersections and crosswalks are accessible to people with disabilities.
APS are typically designed to be easy to use, with clear and intuitive signals and cues.