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Field Adjustments

Tactile Arrow

Most APS devices that are integrated into the pushbutton incorporate a raised (tactile) arrow that helps users know which crosswalk is actuated by the pushbutton. This provides confirmation that is similar to the printed sign and arrow commonly provided for pedestrians who are sighted.

The arrow may be part of the pushbutton, above the pushbutton or on top of the device. On some devices, this arrow also vibrates during the Walk interval.
This APS has a large, high contrast, tactile arrow above the pushbutton. The arrow vibrates rapidly during the Walk interval. The tactile arrow is located on top of this APS housing. An option is to have the arrow vibrate during the Walk interval.
The vibrating tactile arrow above the pushbutton on this APS is superimposed on a larger visual arrow.

Additional information
It is important that the arrow points in the direction of travel on the crosswalk, as it indicates which crosswalk is controlled by that pushbuton. Arrows on available devices are either on the face of the device or on top of the device (see photos)

Tactile arrows do not enable accurate alignment by many persons who are blind. However, those that work best have a relatively long shaft and are oriented so that they can be read with the hand held in a horizontal position.

For arrows on the face of the device, the alignment is determined by the installation of the pushbutton on the pole. Those on the top of the pushbutton integrated APS are typically glued into place after the pushbutton is installed and their alignment can be adjusted separately from the pushbutton.

To align the arrow properly, the installer needs to understand that pedestrians are expecting the arrow to be aligned with the direction of travel across the crosswalk to provide information about the crosswalk alignment. The purpose is not to point toward the beginning of the crosswalk, or the curb ramp location. Misalignment of the arrow by a few degrees can direct a blind pedestrian into the center of the intersection.

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How used
Pedestrians who are blind will use tactile arrows to determine and confirm which crosswalk the pushbutton controls and the general direction of travel on the crosswalk and will use other clues from traffic sounds to confirm their alignment and crossing direction.

They will typically proceed in as straight a line as possible from the device to the curb of the perpendicular street in the direction of the arrow, which means the APS should be as close as possible to the extension of the crosswalk lines.

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Pushbutton and arrow should be within 5 feet of the crosswalk lines extended, (MUTCD 4E.08), aligned in the direction of pedestrian travel controlled by the pushbutton (MUTCD 4E.08; Draft Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines 1106.4.1, PROWAAC X02.5.1.4 (A)).

Arrows should have good visual contrast with their background so that all users, including those having low vision, will see them readily (MUTCD 4E.08, Draft Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines 2021.4.1).

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