RFC: Design of a new tag for marking a railway crossing with additional sound signaling for the blind in the Czech Republic

Crossing the tracks at a level crossing is a particularly dangerous activity without a visual inspection.

The building regulations take this into account and require that when establishing or reconstructing such a crossing located in a village (i.e. in an urban area), possibly connecting two residential zones or on a route frequented by pedestrians, acoustic signaling for the blind should also be taken into account.

Acoustic signaling is activated by command number 5 of the VPN-type radio for the blind

acoustic beats meaning stop are slow, with a frequency of about 1.5 Hz, a beat frequency of about 8 Hz means free. To distinguish it from signals at a pedestrian crossing at an intersection, the tone frequency of the acoustic beats at the crossing is about 1000 Hz, in contrast to crossings, where we hear either a characteristic “knock” or a beep with a tone frequency of about 500 Hz.

The source of the sounds just described is located on the same pole, on which are located two alternately flashing red lights for other road users.[1]


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I think the railway:signal namespace is more meant for features conveying information to train drivers. The sound system you’re describing is providing information to pedestrians. It should be perhaps something that goes along the line with this page.

So maybe something like crossing:guiding_sound=yes/no.

Thank you for your review. We are still looking for the correct form of the tag. My idea is to make it appear in its name that it is a signal for the blind on demand (this means activation by VPN radio)

Do I understand it right that you crossing does not signal its state as sound but via radio? If it were so, it would require a new tag under the crossing:* namespace.

In Germany, many railway crossings have an audible bell or gong:

All of them are tagged with crossing:bell=yes (crossings where a low number of pedestrians is expected lack a bell/gong).

Other countries have bells at their crossings as well.

EDIT: Added “audible”.

I’d suggest to use the identical tagging to traffic_signals - just in the “crossing:” namespace.
The different frequencies should be implicit according to the context and country of the object.

There was a recent discussion here about radio signals at traffic lights.