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Field Adjustments

Vibrating Surfaces

The push button, a second button on the push button housing, or a raised arrow on the housing vibrates during the Walk interval.

Indication of the Walk interval with a vibrating surface is commonly provided on pushbutton integrated signals, in addition to the audible indication.

Basic issues
The vibration may be:
  • Synchronous with the pulsing of the audible signal (slow during DON'T WALK, and faster during WALK);
  • Present only during the Walk interval.
The vibrating surface:
  • Lets pedestrians who are deaf-blind know when the Walk interval is in effect,
  • Can help all pedestrians confirm that the pushbutton they have actuated is the one that now has the Walk interval, and
  • May provide confirmation of the Walk interval at a particularly noisy intersection.
Vibrotactile signals:
  • Are useful only when the vibrating surface is close enough to the curb ramp, near the curb line, so pedestrians who are blind can be aligned and prepared for crossing while still keeping their hand on the signal.
  • May be difficult for pedestrians who are blind to locate, or to wait with their hand on the pushbutton.
  • If they are vibratory only, are useful only to persons who know they exist and know where to find them.
Recommended use
Although signals that only provide vibratory information only have been installed in some locations, PROWAAC recommended that vibrotactile indications should be used only in combination with audible messages, either tones or speech messages.

Draft Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines require all devices in newly signalized installations or alterations where there are pedestrian signals, to have audible and vibrotactile indications of the Walk interval.

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