pedestrian signals Pedestrian Signal
Red and green man signals with the red man flashing during flashing
DON'T WALK interval
All pedestrian pushbuttons were located in a very standardized location,
on side of crosswalk away from the parallel street, aligned with the
crosswalk line, about l5 to 1.0 m from the curb line. Most fixed timed
intersections in downtown Sydney had pushbuttons with audible and vibrotactile
Pedestrian signal timing
WALK and flashing DON'T WALK were similar to US system, with clearance
interval timed at 1 meter per second.
turn lane with APS mounted close to the crosswalk locations. Three
APS are on the splitter island, one for each crossing.
Intersection geometry Streets can be wide and complex, sometimes with narrow medians
and left turn slip lanes. (Driving is on the left.) Slip lanes were sometimes
Roundabouts are used extensively and orientation and mobility specialists
and blind travelers state that roundabouts are a barrier to travel.
Detectable warnings or "TGSI's" (tactile ground surface indicators) are
used to define the edge of the street on the curb ramp, but not consistently
installed from state to state. Edge of TGSI is aligned perpendicularly
to the crosswalk direction, which is intended to provide additional directional
information to blind pedestrians.
At areas with high levels of pedestrian traffic, there may be exclusive
pedestrian phasing. Most intersections with exclusive pedestrian phasing
have audible signals.
Tactile Ground Surface Indicators, such as bar tiles and 'dot tiles' (called
detectable warning in the US) are ubiquitous in urban areas and have been
in use since the 1960s. There was often a bar tile leading toward the
crosswalk, with dot tiles at the edge of the street. However, the tiles,
locations, and installation varied greatly.
APS location in relation to the crosswalk and sidewalk. Australian
curb ramp standards allow a steeper flare than allowed by US standards.
Installation of tactile arrows was not consistent and provided misleading information in some cases.
This APS has a
tactile arrow within a larger visible arrow. Other features include
a locator tone and audible and vibrotactile walk indication.
Number of APS
Each state is responsible for its own area.
Overall number was not available
APS have been fairly extensively installed in areas where there is pedestrian
traffic since the 1980s.
Pushbutton integrated type of signal is used. The pushbutton and sound
are standardized nationally.
There are several APS manufacturers in the Australian market but the pole
mounted control box overhead was the only visible difference. All pushbuttons
looked identical, whether they had APS or not, and all with audio-tactile
features functioned identically.
Locator tone has a repetition rate of once every 2 seconds.
Fast repetition of low frequency thumping sound during the WALK
May have the capability to be set so that the WALK sound is limited
to 8 seconds even when the WALK indication is longer.
Alert tone: "Alert tone" at the beginning of the WALK indication is set
to sound at 14 db above ambient.
All devices respond to ambient sound, both for the locator tone
and the WALK indication.
Vibrotactile information at the arrow panel pulses at the same rate
as the audible tone.
Placement was quite standardized at line of the crosswalk away from
the center of the intersection. Orientation of face of the APS varied;
see photos above. Speaker for the APS is the face of the arrow so sound
is emanating from face of unit. Orientation of the device can make
a difference in hearing the APS when approaching or from the street.
APS are sometimes turned off at night due to neighbors' complaints
The standardized location of the pushbutton, with each pushbutton located
beside the waiting location for the crossing, provided a clear indication
of which crossing the APS was indicating. There was no need for different
sounds for different directions of travel. Even on porkchop type islands
with three devices sounding, it was possible to distinguish the location
and crossing being signaled.
Sources of information
Transport SA, Adelaide
Gayle Clark, Orientation and mobility specialist, Guide Dogs Association of SA and NT, Inc., Adelaide
Susan Lockhart, Orientation and Mobility specialist, Sydney