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Accessible pedestrian signal updates are coming

The devices installed assist those who are blind or visually impaired to cross the street by providing an audible tone
011620-intersection-young and robie-IMG_5009
The intersection at Young and Robie (Meghan Groff/

Updates to accessible pedestrian signals (APS) across the region will be implemented at 76 signalized intersections over the coming months.

APS are devices installed at some signalized intersections that assist individuals who are blind or visually impaired to cross the street by providing an audible tone that indicates when the pedestrian signal is activated. Historically, the push-button had to be pressed and held for three seconds to activate the audible tone where APS buttons are present.

At the Feb. 25, 2021 meeting of the Transportation Standing Committee, the committee voted in favour of adopting a single press of the button to activate the APS.

Later this spring, staff will also begin making adjustments to traffic signal programming at many locations to remove the requirement for pedestrians to press a button to activate the pedestrian signal between the hours of 6 am and midnight. The push requirement will remain in place between midnight and 6 a.m.

This work is being done based on resident feedback to improve accessibility, including for those who are also using mobility aids or have other mobility limitations.

It is anticipated that all APS locations will be completed within the next three months, with the remainder of changes completed by the end of September 2021.

A full list of affected locations can be found in the Transportation Standing Committee staff report.


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