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Go to Front page Background section Travel by Blind
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Designing Installations
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State of Practices section Case Studies
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Field Adjustments

Developing standards and guidelines

Standards and guidelines on APS in the US are rapidly developing in response to research demonstrating that access to public rights-of-way is severely limited by lack of accessible pedestrian signal information at some intersections and that this lack of information can lead to unsafe crossings by pedestrians who are blind. It is also changing in response to recent and on-going research projects that may provide more definitive information on which to base technical specifications for APS equipment and its installation.

Existing standards, recommendations and draft guidelines include differences in language, recommendations, and requirements that reflect the changing state-of-the-art.

Current standards, guidance and recommendations are included in:
  • (ADA) Draft Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines
The MUTCD 2000, Revision 1, 23 CFR 655 Subpart F, contains two sections on Accessible Pedestrian Signals, Part 4E.06, Accessible Pedestrian Signals, and Part 4E.08, Accessible Pedestrian Signal Detectors. (Available at mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov)

The Federal Highway Administration publishes the MUTCD, with revisions made on a continuous basis. Changes to the MUTCD are published in the Federal Register as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking; they then follow Federal rulemaking procedures. FHWA receives major input from the independent National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

ADA draft guidelines
Minimum guidelines and requirements for implementing the ADA in public rights-of-way are expected to be issued as a Notice of Proposed Rule-Making by the US Access Board in 2003.

Draft Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines based on the report of the Public Rights-of-Way Access Advisory Committee (PROWAAC) were published on June 17, 2021 for comment. (The Draft Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines are included in the appendix.)
  • PROWAAC was chartered by the Access Board in 1999 to develop recommendations to the Access Board for minimum guidelines and requirements for accessible public rights-of-way.
  • Had 37 members representing disability organizations, public works departments, transportation and traffic engineering groups, design professionals and civil engineers, government agencies, and standards-setting bodies.
  • PROWAAC recommendations were published in January 2001 as Building a True Community: Final Report-Public Rights-of Way Access Advisory Committee. (Available at www.access-board.gov)
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