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West Virginia Division of Highways - Morgantown, West Virginia

History and background
APS were installed in 2002, at the request of blind citizens. These are the first APS that have been installed in the state.

Process and procedure
Morgantown does not have a process or procedure for determining
which intersections will be equipped with APS. Typically, all traffic signal installations in West Virginia are installed by contract under the purview of the West Virginia Division of Highways.


This demonstration project was fully funded by the West Virginia Division of Highways.

Description of intersection
APS were installed at two intersections in the downtown area of Morgantown that have pedestrian actuation, and exclusive pedestrian phasing with right turns on red permitted.

APS type and features
Pushbutton-integrated APS manufactured by Prisma Teknik
(model TS-903).

APS features:
  • WALK indication for crossing in both directions is fast repetition
    of the pushbutton locator tone
  • Pushbutton locator tone
  • Automatic volume adjustment in response to ambient sound
  • Tactile map of crossing
Signals are being modified to include pushbutton information messages modeled after “Wait to cross Willey St. at High St. Wait for red light for all vehicles. Right turn on red permitted.”

APS Installation
Two pushbuttons have been mounted on some corners so the standard single arrow can be correctly oriented in the same direction as each crosswalk. This was necessary where the two crosswalks at a corner were not at right angles to each other.

Since these locations used exclusive pedestrian phases, a right-angle, double ended arrow was installed so that a single pushbutton could be located on one corner or quadrant, controlling the WALK signal for two crossing directions. The right angle arrow will be installed where both crossings are 90 degrees from a particular quadrant.

Mounting of two Prisma pushbutton units on a single pole. See arrows on insert detail for the orientation of the tactile arrow on the top of each unit. Both devices make the same sound during the Walk indication, which is acceptable in this installation since there is exclusive pedestrian phasing.

Installation issues
Wiring of the APS was little different than typical (non-APS) pushbuttons.

APS are mounted to signal uprights using two quarter-inch stainless steel screws. In the future, stainless steel bands may be placed at the top and bottom sections of APS in high-vandalism areas.

Diligence is needed in the initial design of a complete intersection, so as to correctly locate APS according to the MUTCD.

No weather-related maintenance issues.

Cabinets and signals are well guarded against transient voltage surges, including high-speed surges that are accompanied by lighting.

To date, APS have been installed at six intersections in West Virginia.
At one intersection in downtown Charleston, in a high vandalism area, three APS have been knocked off the signal upright.

APS have performed as expected according to manufacturer’s literature.

Negative comments have been received from nearby businesses about
the noise level of the locator tone. The entrance to one business is less than 10 feet from the pole on which two APS are mounted.

Blind users have objected to the location of some APS units (in some cases at a distance of about 20 feet from the crosswalk).

Positive comments have been received about proactive installation of APS.

Barry Warhoftig
Traffic Engineering Division
West Virginia Div. of Highways
Building 5, Room 550
1900 Kanawha Blvd, E.
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: 304 558-3722
BWarhoftig@ dot.state.wv.us

Bruce Kenney
Traffic Engineering Division
West Virginia Div. of Highways
Building 5, Room 550
1900 Kanawha Blvd, E.
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: 304 558-3063
E-mail: Bkenney@dot.state.wv.us

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This site was developed under the sponsorship of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program.