New Accessible Pedestrian Push Buttons in Operation at 69th and Western

The City of Sioux Falls is working to make our community more accessible, and new technology is making it safer for people with visual impairments to cross busy intersections. New accessible pedestrian push buttons are in operation at one intersection, West 69th Street and South Western Avenue, and will be included in new intersection construction and reconstruction projects moving forward.

The City of Sioux Falls strives to provide access to public programs and facilities equally to all residents and visitors of Sioux Falls, and we have drafted a five-year plan to budget for a variety of improvements to make our community more accessible. These new pedestrian push buttons are a big step toward that goal,” says Colleen Moran, Assistant City Attorney.

The new pedestrian push buttons have several features that improve accessibility: 

  • Contrasting colors on the button assembly serve as a visual cue to help people with visual impairments locate the push buttons.
  • A locator tone assists people with visual impairments in locating the buttons. The tone adjusts to ambient noise so it is audible, yet not a nuisance to adjacent properties.
  • A prerecorded message indicates when the “walk” light has been activated for crossing the appropriate street.
  • Buttons have a tactile arrow that is oriented in the direction of travel for the crossing so that pedestrians with visual impairments can use the arrow as a cue to the orientation of the crossing.
  • Buttons vibrate when touched to provide feedback that the button has been activated. Additionally, an LED also lights up and the locator tone changes. These cues help pedestrians, including people with hearing impairments, understand that the push button has been activated.

These new pedestrian push button features—in conjunction with the standards used for curb ramp design, button location, button height, reach distance, offsets from crosswalk, distance from curb, clear ground space, and sidewalk slope—will assist all pedestrians to cross the street safely.

The existing 1,130 push buttons in the city will be prioritized for replacement based on existing compliance and pedestrian volume.