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Field Adjustments

Pole location

Existing pole location
When the only change is addition of an APS, existing pole location at the intersection often restricts the location of APS components, such as pushbuttons, speakers, and tactile arrows, which can affect the device features needed.

Location of pushbuttons and tactile arrows and location of speakers must be carefully engineered to provide accessible and usable information to pedestrians with disabilities.
  • Consideration of these issues in designing the installation and ordering devices is needed to avoid providing ambiguous information. Before ordering devices, the designer needs to look at the poles available and determine locations where devices will be installed.
  • Pole location may affect the type of WALK indication to be used.
    • Location of two APS on one pole requires either speech walk indications or additional mast arms or other provisions to separate the sounds.
    • APS loudspeakers may be located at the pushbutton location or on the pedhead. The location of these speakers can be critical.
Three options
If there are no poles at the recommended locations, in retrofit situations, options to consider, in order of decreasing desirability (from the standpoint of ambiguity), include:
    1. Repositioning of pedestrian signals and poles, or the addition of stub pole(s) and associated conduit and wiring

    2. Use of pedhead mounted speakers, possibly with mast arms or other provision to locate the WALK tone speakers as near to the associated crosswalk as possible

    3. Two APS on a pole with speech messages (see recommended characteristics; see recommended wording of speech messages)
APS are positioned appropriately at this intersection by the addition of a stub pole for one crosswalk. The stub pole holding the APS for the crosswalk at right is simply bolted in. The other APS is mounted on the pole that supports the pedhead. Well located pedestrian signal poles provide APS audible indications from the optimal location, close to the pedestrian waiting area.

Repositioning pedestrian signals and poles or the addition of stub poles
Repositioning poles may be considered a major change in some renovation projects, but may be less difficult when the addition of the APS is part of the upgrading of the curb ramp. The optimal choice is positioning speakers and pushbuttons on poles that are located closest to the crosswalk. Possible ways to accomplish this should be strongly considered before other options are explored.

In some locations, the addition of stub poles may be fairly simple. Jurisdictions seem to have different requirements for the wiring. The wires to pushbuttons are low voltage wires and it may be possible to run the wires in a sawcut to a pushbutton pole installed with bolts. Looking at the wiring and the use of stub poles in unconventional ways may provide solutions to the problems.

Positioning pedhead mounted speakers
If the pole is not close enough to the crosswalk location, pedhead mounted speakers may be mounted to extend from the pole to provide the appropriate separation of sounds. (See an example.) Provision of the walk information at the proper crossing location, even when pushbutton and poles cannot be relocated, may provide some auditory guidance to the pedestrian who is blind about the crosswalk location. This type of installation may not provide the best location for tactile arrows and signs. If a pushbutton is used, the pushbutton should also provide a locator tone and tactile arrow.

In the photo below, the speakers are positioned on the outside of the pedheads, which somewhat separates the sounds, although more separation is preferred. In these photos the speakers are aimed across the street. The speakers may be aimed directly down in most instances. When audible beaconing is needed, the speaker may be aimed toward the center of the street.
Two pedhead-mounted speakers, aimed at right angles to each other are separated by the width of the pedheads and the mounting pole. Even more distance is preferred.

Two APS on the same pole
Many jurisdictions use a standard design of two pedheads and pushbuttons on one pole. In new or reconstructed intersections, separate poles should be provided at the end of each crosswalk, for the pushbutton to provide unambiguous APS information, and to be maximally useful to all pedestrians. Where two APS pushbuttons are mounted on two separate poles at a corner, their arrows can readily be aligned with each crosswalk. Correct alignment can be difficult to accomplish with two APS on the same pole, particularly at larger radius intersections.

If two pushbuttons must be on the same pole, it is essential that speakers be located as close as possible to the pedestrian waiting location and fit the recommendations below for installations of two APS on one pole.
  • A speech WALK message is needed, so the user can determine which street has the WALK indication. Therefore, an APS that is capable of providing a speech WALK message is needed in those locations (see discussion of speech WALK indications); and
  • A pushbutton message and tactile arrow are also needed so pedestrians can know the direction of the crosswalk served by that pushbutton, and the name of the street to be crossed. Without the pushbutton message, the name of the street in the WALK message may still be ambiguous to pedestrians who are unfamiliar with the intersection.
Recommended characteristics - APS where two pushbuttons are on the same pole
APS at intersections where two APS pushbuttons are on the same pole should have:
  • Pushbutton locator tone, sounding for each device;
  • Speech WALK indication, 2-5dBA above ambient sound;
  • Pushbutton information message to provide intersection and crosswalk identification information; and.
  • Tactile arrow on each device aligned in direction of travel on the crosswalk Speech messages should follow the recommendations for wording, and the APS should be positioned within 10 feet of the curb.
See drawings.

Recommended Installation - Two APS on one pole with speech messages
Example of pushbutton information messages and speech walk messages for two APS located on the same pole

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