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ACCESSIBLE PEDESTRIAN SIGNALS. Jim Lampe, Control Technologies September 24, 2008. Agenda. What is APS APS Background & History Today’s Challenges APS in the MUTCD APS Research Future Considerations Legal Issues Information Sources Next Generation- Campbell Advanced APS Demonstration.

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accessible pedestrian signals

ACCESSIBLE PEDESTRIAN SIGNALS

Jim Lampe, Control Technologies

September 24, 2008

agenda
Agenda
  • What is APS
  • APS Background & History
  • Today’s Challenges
  • APS in the MUTCD
  • APS Research
  • Future Considerations
  • Legal Issues
  • Information Sources
  • Next Generation- Campbell Advanced APS
  • Demonstration
what is aps
What is APS

A device that communicates information about pedestrian timing/phasing in a non-visual format such as audible tones, verbal messages and/or vibrotactile surfaces

aps history
APS History
  • Audible indicators available for over 30 years
    • “Audible Peds”- Bird chirp, Cuckoo
  • NCUTCD Signals Technical Committee (STC) discussed and tried to deal with APS for over 20 years.
  • No agreement on needs among STC, NCUTCD & Visually Impaired Community.
    • American Council for the Blind (Pro)
    • National Federation of the Blind (Against, but warming)
  • 1992 Americans with Disabilities Act – required access to public right-of –way for people with disabilities.
  • 1997 STC finally decided to move forward and assigned issue to Pedestrian Task Force (PTF).
slide6

APS History

  • 1998 – TEA 21; US Access Board commissioned paper by Dr. Billie (Beezy) Louise Bentzen. Driving force, created a lot of wording for 2000 MUTCD edition.
  • June 1998 four members of PTF met with representatives of various organizations set up for the interests of the visually impaired.
  • January 1999 –After 19 hours, PTF and groups hammered out proposed wording. Campbell involved from the beginning.
  • Result – Wording that developed into sections of the 2000 MUTCD
today s challenges for visually impaired peds
Today’s Challenges (For Visually Impaired Peds)
  • Traffic volumes increased substantially in 20 years
  • Increased background noise
  • Streets widened with multiple thru and turn lanes
  • Signal phasing more complex
  • Right/ left turn on Red
  • Quieter automobiles
format of the mutcd
Format of the MUTCD
  • Standard – a statement of required, mandatory, or specifically prohibitive practice regarding a TCD; (shall)
  • Guidance – a statement of recommendation, but not mandatory, practice in typical situations with deviations allowed based on engineering studies (should)
  • Option – a statement of practice that is a permissive condition and carries no requirement or recommendation; may contain allowable modifications to standard or guidance (may)
  • Support – an informational statement that does not carry any degree of mandate, recommendation authorization, or prohibition or enforceable condition.
aps in the mutcd 2000
APS in the MUTCD (2000)
  • Section 4E.06 Accessible Pedestrian Signals
    • Audible Tones
    • Verbal Messages
    • Vibrotactile
  • Section 4E.08 Accessible Pedestrian Signal Detectors
    • Locator Tones
  • STC recommendations to NCUTCD deliberately chose to avoid standardization on devices, and instead standardized on methods of dealing with the issue, allowing agencies to explore the new technologies coming on the market.
  • 17 countries use the same APS standard, we’re different.
aps in the mutcd 20001
APS in the MUTCD (2000)
  • Accessible Device Examples:
    • Fully Integrated Pedestrian Station:
      • Sound emitted from pedestrian station
      • PPB integral to pedestrian station
      • Vibrotactile device integral to pedestrian station
    • Speaker on Pedestrian Display
      • Sound emitted from Pedestrian Display
    • Vibrotactile devices (not for long)
      • VTO
aps in the mutcd 2003
APS in the MUTCD (2003)

2003 MUTCD Changes

  • In 4E.09 Accessible Pedestrian Detectors – a support statement was changed to a standard for emphasis
    • Definition Changed- “An accessible pedestrian signal detector shall be defined as a device designated to assist the pedestrian who has visual or physical disabilities in activating the pedestrian phase”
aps in the mutcd 20031
APS in the MUTCD (2003)

2003 MUTCD Changes

  • In 4E.09 Accessible Pedestrian Detectors – clarified APS pushbutton location (Guidance)
  • Pushbuttons for accessible pedestrian signals should be located as follows:
    • Adjacent to a level all-weather surface;
    • Within 5 feet of the crosswalk extended;
    • Within 10 feet of the edge of the curb, shoulder, or pavement, and;
    • Parallel to the crosswalk to be used.
aps in the mutcd 20032
APS in the MUTCD (2003)

Recommended Pushbutton Locations

aps in the mutcd 20033
APS in the MUTCD (2003)

2003 MUTCD Changes

  • In 4E.10 Pedestrian Intervals and Signal Phases – the Guidance was changed for calculating the pedestrian clearance time
  • “The pedestrian clearance time should be sufficient to allow a pedestrian crossing in the crosswalk who left the curb or shoulder during the WALKING PERSON signal indication to travel at a walking speed of 1.2 m (4ft) per second, to at least the far side of the traveled way or to a median of sufficient width for pedestrians to wait.”
aps in the mutcd 20034
APS in the MUTCD (2003)

2003 MUTCD Changes

  • In 4E.08 Pedestrian Signal Detectors –an option was added
    • “At signalized locations with demonstrated need and subject to equipment capabilities, pedestrians with special needs may be provided with additional crossing time by means of an extended pushbutton press”
    • We don’t know of anyone doing this yet but the controller manufacturers are preparing
aps research
APS Research

APS Research - Recent Research Outcomes

  • TRB Paper: APS – The effect of Pushbutton Location and Audible WALK indications on Pedestrian Behavior
    • Speed in locating the pushbutton appears to be significantly influenced by the relationship between pushbutton location and geometry at each corner.
    • If two pushbuttons are on a single pole, verbal WALK messages resulted in better accuracy than different sounds
    • For two pushbuttons on one corner, mounted on two poles, rapid tick sound works best
aps research1
APS Research

APS Research - Recent Research Outcomes

  • Primary APS Features
    • Pushbutton Locator Tones
    • Tactile Arrow
    • Actuation Identification
    • Audible Walk Indication
    • Vibrotactile WALK Indication
    • Responsive to Ambient Sound
  • Secondary APS Features
    • Audible Beaconing
future considerations
Future Considerations

NCUTCD Recommended Changes in the NPA (Notice of Proposed Amendment)

  • In 4E.06 Accessible Pedestrian Signals – Research outcomes – APS Shall meet all of the following
    • APS shall have both audible and vibrotactile WALK indications. “Vibrotactile Only” gone.
    • APS shall have audible walk indication during walk interval only.
      • Apply to Countdowns?
    • APS shall not provide audible pedestrian change interval indication.
      • Apply to Countdowns? Shouldn’t initiate walk in clearance phase
    • Audible walk indications shall be a percussive tone.
      • Quicker and clearer than verbal message (4-7 second avg. walk time)
    • Vibrotactile walk shall be by tactile arrow on Pushbutton.
future considerations1
Future Considerations

NCUTCD Recommended Changes in the NPA

  • In 4E.09 Accessible Pedestrian Detector – strengthened APS pushbutton location requirements
  • When pedestrian actuation is used, pushbuttons shall be located to meet all of the following:
    • Unobstructed and Adjacent to a level all-weather surface;
    • Within 5 feet of the crosswalk extended;
    • Between 1.5 and 6 feet of the edge of the curb, shoulder, or pavement;
      • Was 10’
    • Parallel to the crosswalk to be used, and;
    • At a maximum mounting height of 4 feet above sidewalk.
      • Most installed 36’-42’
future considerations2
Future Considerations

NCUTCD Recommended Changes in the NPA

  • In 4E.06 Accessible Pedestrian Signals – research outcomes – Audible Beaconing
    • Audible Beaconing is the use of an audible signal in such a way that blind pedestrians can home in on the signal.
    • Not all crosswalks at an intersection need audible beaconing; beaconing can actually cause confusion if used at all crosswalks.
    • Audible beaconing should only be considered following an engineering study at
      • Crosswalks longer than 70 feet; skewed; multiple legs
future considerations3
Future Considerations

NCUTCD Recommended Changes in the NPA

  • 4E.10 Pedestrian Intervals and Signal Phases - Walking Speed – 4.0 vs. 3.5 vs. 3.0 fps
    • “The pedestrian clearance time shall be sufficient to allow a pedestrian crossing in the crosswalk who left the curb or shoulder during the WALKING PERSON (symbolizing WALK) signal indication to travel at a walking speed of 1.1 m (3.5 ft) per second, to at least the far side of the traveled way or to a median of sufficient width for pedestrian to wait.”
future considerations4
Future Considerations

NCUTCD Recommended Changes in the NPA

  • 4E.10 Pedestrian Intervals and Signal Phases - Walking Speed – 4.0 vs. 3.5 vs. 3.0 fps
    • In addition, the total of the WALK interval and the pedestrian clearance times shall also be sufficient to allow a pedestrian crossing in the crosswalk who left the pedestrian detector at the beginning of the Walking Person (symbolizing WALK) signal indication to travel at a walking speed of 0.9m (3 ft) per second to the far side of the traveled way being crossed. Additional time required to satisfy the conditions of this paragraph shall be added to the subject phase pedestrian clearance time. See also the second option
future considerations5
Future Considerations
  • MUTCD do not require signals to be accessible, but based on current discussions at federal agencies and NCUTUCD, future changes are not just possible, but probable.
    • i.e. Draft Public Right-of-Way Advisory Group (PROWAG) on APS requires APS where pedestrian signals are installed.
legal issues
Legal Issues

Recent Legal Settlement – Various Organizations for the Visually Impaired vs. San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

  • Requires Installation of APS
  • Dedicates $1.6 M Over the next 2.5 years for APS at a minimum of 80 Intersections
  • Uses Rapid Tick sound with WALK Display
  • Includes Locator Tone, Vibrotactile, Extended Press for Street Name Information.
  • Commits City to Seek Funding, Develop Policy for Requesting APS, Work with Community
information sources
Information Sources
  • TRB- Accessible Pedestrian Signals: Synthesis and Guide to Best Practice
  • www.accessforblind.org
  • www.walkinginfo.org
campbell company
Campbell Company

Fully Integrated Pedestrian Stations:

current features
Current Features
  • Current State APS Driven off of Outputs
  • Locator Tones
  • Ambient Gain Control
  • Extended Press Functions
    • Information
    • Volume
    • Actuation of APS
  • Acknowledgement
    • Visual
    • Audible “Wait”
  • Audible Walk Signals
    • Tones
    • Verbal Messages
  • Vibrotactile Walk Signal
  • Target Beaconing with Synchronized PPBs (Hard Wired)
next generation campbell advanced aps
Next Generation- Campbell Advanced APS

Future State: Driven via Ethernet (EoP) utilizing NTCIP

  • May be hard wired in TS1
  • Advanced Pedestrian Controller: Full Real Time Diagnostics – MMU / CCU internal to PMU
    • Failsafe goes to standard PPB. No Noise/No Vibratactile
  • Fully Synchronized Operations
  • Configurable with laptop and WEB based interface
next generation campbell advanced aps1
Next Generation- Campbell Advanced APS
  • Wireless Clock (WWVB) allows time operations
  • Bluetooth interface allows personal hand held devices to communicate with the pedestrian station
    • Current device: Nokia Phone
    • Future devices: Advanced Pedestrian Assistant (UI)
      • GPS will alert pedestrian if they leave crosswalk boudaries
      • Strong platform for future features (firmware upgrades) based on user feedback
thank you

Thank You!

Jim Lampe, Control Technologies

September 24, 2008

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