A pedestrian crossing in New York City

Why Should Your Accessible Pedestrian Signals Have a Guiding Sound Corridor?


A guiding sound corridor brings more safety to blind and visually impaired pedestrians. They rely on accessible pedestrian signals at crossings to get around in the city with complete autonomy. Thanks to them, they know when it’s their turn to cross the street. 

But a guiding sound corridor enables them to reach the other side more easily. And that’s just as useful for them as it is for you whether you’re a city planner or an urban designer.

Let’s see how this works exactly and why this technology can change the face of your city!

What’s a guiding sound corridor?

As the name suggests, a guiding sound corridor provides blind and visually impaired users audio information all along their crossing to guide them. This system is directly integrated into accessible pedestrian signals.

Users with a visual impairment can better focus on the sound it provides. It’s particularly helpful at complex intersections that have multiple traffic lanes or at very large intersections. Blind and visually impaired people can feel overwhelmed and need to rely on clear audio indicators to find their bearings.

As soon as they activate the accessible pedestrian signals, the guiding sound corridor emitted at both ends of the crossing wraps up the users. They just have to follow the sound to cross the street.

Plus it helps them walk straight all along. No risk for them to go off course and bump into another pedestrian. 

Why should you implement it?

As a city planner or urban designer, you know how important it is to implement useful and lasting solutions that truly meet the needs of users.

A guiding sound corridor at your crossings reassures blind and visually impaired pedestrians and has indeed many benefits. At your level, you can enhance their mobility.

Provide pedestrians with a better understanding of the environment

People with a visual impairment count on audio elements to comprehend their surroundings. A guiding sound corridor helps them have a mental representation of the crossing. They can “see” how it is shaped.

Offer them more safety and less confusion

The high-quality broadcast helps pedestrians better focus on it. The guiding sound corridor works as a beacon they follow to get to the other side of the crossing. They’re less distracted by the sound environment of the crossing with its traffic, other pedestrians, cyclists…

Stay at the forefront of innovation regarding APS

You can offer blind and visually impaired people a more efficient system. Ever since the invention of the first acoustic traffic signal in 1914, accessible pedestrian signals have never ceased to evolve.

But it’s not improvement for improvement’s sake. It has always served a higher purpose: helping visually impaired pedestrians cross the street gaining more safety and autonomy. 

By implementing a guiding sound corridor, you do improve their mobility using what technology has best to offer.

The ultimate guide to accessible pedestrian signals. I want it!

How does a guiding sound corridor work?

A guiding sound corridor needs to have 3 elements to be perfectly efficient:

The poles with the accessible pedestrian signals need to be located face to face, on the same side of the crossing and at the outside side of the intersection,

The broadcast emitted by the audible pedestrian signals need to be led towards the crossing,

The activation of the APS from the same crossing needs to be simultaneous, meaning that APS on both sides of the crossing are synchronized and paired up.

The third generation accessible pedestrian signal aBeacon, developed by Okeenea, is one of the APS that uses a guiding sound corridor. What’s groundbreaking with aBeacon is that pedestrians can activate it remotely using either a remote control or a smartphone app. A contactless activation means less difficulties for users to locate the crossing which is one of their main issues when they get around.

Plus with the MyMoveo app, blind and visually impaired pedestrians can select more precisely their crossing, a very useful tool when they need to navigate a complex intersection they’re not familiar with.

But of course, push buttons serving as the standard activation device in the U.S (among other uses), they too can work with aBeacon.

A guiding sound corridor inside an accessible pedestrian signal like aBeacon is really easy to set up: it can either be done beforehand at the workshop or at the intersection while installing the APS.

As you can see, implementing a guiding sound corridor at your crossings can make the getting around of blind and visually impaired users easier. You provide them with additional security while enhancing the inclusive mobility of your city. Are you ready for your city to be more innovative and safe for ALL your pedestrians?

Want to know more about accessible pedestrian signals? Dive into these articles:

How Do the Blind Safely Cross the Road?

How Can Accessible Pedestrian Signals Become Responsive to COVID-19?

How Cities in North America Communicate Efficiently About Accessible Pedestrian Signals: Good Examples to Follow

Published on March 4th, 2022


The accessible pedestrian aBeacon fixed at pole in New York City uses a guiding sound corridor

The guiding sound corridor works as a beacon they follow to get to the other side of the crossing. They’re less distracted by the sound environment of the crossing with its traffic, other pedestrians, cyclists…


Carole Martinez

Carole Martinez

Content Manager

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