Japan, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and Germany have developed standards for
accessible pedestrian signals (APS). The International Standards Organization (ISO) is
currently finalizing an APS standard. The California Traffic Manual also contains an
Intersections in some parts of San Francisco are being fitted with infrared emitters that
can send verbal crossing information on signal phase, street location, crossing direction,
and even crossing type to pedestrians carrying individual receivers.
The City of Los Angeles has developed a rating system for street crossings to confirm the
need for accessible pedestrian signals (APS). Engineers evaluate proximity to transit,
pedestrian accidents, intersection configuration, street width, vehicle speed, traffic
volumes and flow, and a range of special conditions that include right-turning volume,
complex phasing, right turn signals, free right turns, and other items to arrive at a point
total for each intersection that can be used to warrant requested signals. In 1985, the City
of San Diego implemented an intersection evaluation policy for APS installation.
Research conducted in New York and in Clearwater, FL indicates that an audible
pedhead prompt improves pedestrian safety. Engineers tested voiced reminders to
pedestrians to ‘look both ways’ before entering a crossing.