Touchless Pedestrian Push Buttons on North Fremont
In December 2020, the City installed four touchless pedestrian push buttons on North Fremont, at the intersections of Casa Verde, Airport/Dela Vina, Ramona and Casanova.
The buttons were installed recently, as this new touchless button technology was not available prior to the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The City was approached by a couple of manufacturers, after the pandemic to consider this new technology for use in the City.
The City selected the four signalized intersections on North Fremont, in part due to the significant cost savings. The North Fremont Bike and Pedestrian Access Project upgraded the pedestrian signals, all of the hardware, wiring and units installed for the Polara ped push button system was already in place. As a result only a simple button unit swap for the new button was needed. The cost for just the buttons we swapped out was $450 per button.
The City is considering this for intersection throughout the City, however the buttons on North Fremont will provide a test run on how the operate and reliability. There is not currently a list of next intersect, however when prioritizing the implementation it will consider the current state of signal wiring and pedestrian volumes.
The touchless technology provides the many benefits, including the reduction in need to touch high-use surfaces during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The biggest benefit of this technology is for pedestrians with mobility limitations. The new buttons also have a mobile application, Ped App, which can be used by pedestrians to activate the pedestrian phase via smartphone.