walkinginfo.org Logo Go to contents of page
APS home go to front of Accessible Pedestrian Signals
Go to Front page Background section Travel by Blind
Rules & Regulations
Technologies and Features section Types
Walk Indications
Other Features
Choosing and Installing section Where to Install
Designing Installations
New Construction or Reconstruction
Retrofitting an Intersection with an APS
Installation Specifications
Field Adjustments
State of Practices section Case Studies
International Practice
Devices section Manufacturers
Selection Tool
Product Matrix
Downloads section Full Guide
Rating Scales
Field Adjustments


Functioning of pedestrian signals
Pedestrian Signal
Denmark uses a "red man, green man" symbol signal.

Length of the WALK interval varies by time of day. WALK interval usually calculated using a walking speed formula of 1.3 meters per second, but up to 1.5 meter per second can be used.

Pedestrian Signal timing
Length of the WALK interval varies by time of day. WALK interval usually calculated using a walking speed formula of 1.3 meters per second, but up to 1.5 meter per second can be used.

No flashing clearance interval

Fixed timed signals in most of central business district

Intersection geometry
Streets typically were narrow (by US standards) with a great deal of pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Streets included wide bike lanes, often slightly raised from the street level.

No unsignalized right turn lanes for cars, but there are right turn lanes for bicycles.

Curbs are typically 3-4 cm high, which is said to be acceptable to persons with mobility impairments.

Detectable warning surfaces installed in some locations at the curb, usually in a one-foot band. No detectable warnings at edges of cut-through medians.

Number of APS
Very common in central business districts; outside of central business districts APS are installed at the request of the Danish Blind Association and only at requested crosswalks of the intersections.

APS are fairly extensively installed in downtown areas. Further out, signals are installed at the request of persons who are blind or visually impaired and may be installed only on some crosswalks of the intersection, depending on the request.

Installation Example
The tactile arrow on the APS in Denmark was on top of the device which was located on a pole near the crosswalk line. Most intersections were fixed timed so no pushbutton was included on this device.

APS functioning
Most installations have audible signals coming from devices at pushbutton height, whether they have pushbuttons or the signals are fixed timed; overhead beaconing speaker devices are currently installed in combination with pushbutton locator tones, at a few trial locations.

Signals must conform to a national standard

Locator tone and WALK indication
  • Both are 880 Hz square or saw-tooth wave tones.
  • Locator tone is pulsed at 30/minute and WALK indication pulsed faster. The Danish standard requires that the WALK indication be five times the rate of the locator tone.
  • The pulse length of the locator tone is 400 ms and the pulse length of the WALK tone is 200 ms.
  • All APSs respond to ambient sound, unless special permission is received to set the signal to a constant low level.
  • Although standard for setting the volume is that the signal should be audible 3 meters from the pole, the signal was quite often audible as far as 10 meters from the pole.
  • The installer determines volume by listening.
Additional information
  • Located consistently at the end of the crosswalk line so locator tone could be used to line up for crossing.
  • Consistency of location is considered very important; the APS is installed no more than 0.6 meter from the curb line and the horizontal distance from the crosswalk line is not more than 0.3 m.
  • Stub poles are installed if signal poles are not available in the appropriate location.
Crosswalk information
  • All APS devices have a bar aligned with the crosswalk, functioning as an arrow, on top of device.
  • Danish APS with tactile bar mounted on the top. The bar is aligned with the crosswalk, and two knobs at the end of the bar indicate a median and the far side of the street.
    All APS devices have a bar aligned with the crosswalk, functioning as an arrow, on top of device.
  • In general there is no need to push a button, as most intersections have pre-timed pedestrian phases.
On most equipment, the pushbutton is located on the backside of the APS, toward the pole, with sufficient space for fingers to reach between the APS and the pole.

Locator tone was same tone as the WALK interval tone, and at the same intensity. Repetition rates at some locations in Copenhagen did not seem to conform to the published standard.

At a multi-leg intersection, the APS were very usable for crossing and alignment.
  • APS were very consistently located in relation to the crosswalk.
  • Directional bar (arrow) was useful, as were crosswalk maps on the side of the signals.
  • Medians were cut-through, without detectable warnings, but the sound of the APS on the median gave some information about the median location.
The representative of the blind society mentioned concerns regarding noise levels of signals

Mohammed Abazza, Traffic Engineer, Copenhagen

Neils Christian Johanneson, Siemens

Inge Kyhl, Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Institute for the Blind and Partially Sighted in Denmark

Mehta Rohe, Danish Blind Association

Jørn Vammen, Signals Engineer, Danish Department of Transportation

topup arrow

  << previous page  |  next page >>
spacer image
This site was developed under the sponsorship of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program.