Research Papers

Improving the Accessible Pedestrian Signal System in the City of Toronto

Version 1
Date added June 26, 2017
Downloaded 0 times/fois
Category 2017 CARSP XXVII Toronto
Tags Research and Evaluation, Session 2C
Author/Auteur Daphne Wee
Stream/Volet Research and Evaluation
Slidedeck Presentation Only (no paper submitted)



"The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) are design standards that were developed by the Province of Ontario to implement the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). However, these recent standards still leave many street accessibility issues unresolved. City of Toronto staff are examining many such issues as part of a new program of work.

One example is the implementation of accessible pedestrian signals (APS). While the City of Toronto's APS system meets legislated requirements, users have identified difficulties in accessing and operating the system. Identified issues include challenges in locating the pushbutton; reaching the pushbutton due to some users' limited reach ranges; pushing and holding the pushbutton down for at least three seconds; hearing the locator and / or walk tones; and, knowing how much time remains for crossing. On the other side of the issue is the many noise complaints that the City of Toronto receives about the APS locator and walk tones. There are concerns that the potential solution of implementing automatic APS would result in increased noise pollution, which might have a negative impact on public health. The City of Toronto wanted to examine methods and opportunities for improving the existing APS system, in order to make the system more accommodating for users, especially pedestrians with low or no vision. The City of Toronto has retained the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute to undertake a thorough study. The study will include an extensive academic review of best practices, stakeholder engagement and a symposium. Based on the research and consultation, the study will make recommendations on potential technologies and practices that can be implemented to improve the APS system in the City of Toronto. It is the City's intention to undertake a pilot project to implement the recommended technologies and practices within a formal monitoring and evaluation framework, in order to determine which technologies and practices can be practicably incorporated into the City's existing APS program. The study will include the rationale for selecting the recommended technologies and practices. City staff will then review these recommendations and decide which of the noted technologies and practices to test in a pilot project. The results of the monitoring and evaluation of the technologies and practices in the pilot project will be collected and will form the basis of how the City of Toronto proceeds with improvements to its APS system. "

Daphne Wee