Why do I need to push a button to get a walk light?

Traffic lights have different requirements at almost every location. Some of the older signals don’t have pedestrian push buttons, so the green light serves as the walk signal, serving pedestrians every cycle. The rationale was that these signals are in higher pedestrian use areas, so the pedestrians were served each cycle; therefore, the pedestrian buttons weren’t needed. The signals that have only occasional pedestrian usage need to have pedestrian buttons. Sometimes when a signal gets a pedestrian call, it takes a while to serve the pedestrian. This is sometimes longer than the vehicle passage time would be, thus it can cause the vehicle efficiency to drop. The signal timing is very critical in most intersections and efficiency is very important to uniform traffic flow.

All the newer signals have ped push buttons, and the very newest have Accessible Pedestrian Signal (APS) push buttons. The APS push buttons have both audible and tactile features for visually impaired pedestrians. Eventually, all signals will have APS pushbuttons.

Show All Answers

1. How do traffic signals work?
2. How does a traffic signal sense cars?
3. Why do some lights stay green when there are no cars present?
4. How does an emergency vehicle, such as a fire truck or ambulance, change the signal to give them a green light in the direction they are traveling?
5. Can I make a light change to green by flashing my headlights?
6. What happens when a train approaches a traffic signal near a railroad crossing?
7. How are traffic signals coordinated in a system?
8. How do pedestrian buttons and walk signals work?
9. Why do I need to push a button to get a walk light?
10. What new technologies are coming our way?