December 26th, 2011

This is the audible annunciation found at all intersections with traffic lights in Paris, France. It announces the condition of the traffic lights for pedestrians who are blind or with impaired vision. The annunciation is turned on by pressing a button on the traffic light pole.

When the crosswalk sign is red (do not cross), the recorded annunciation is always "rouge piéton" ("red light, pedestrian"), followed by the name of the street that the crosswalk crosses (in this case "rue d'Antin," the quiet side street where I recorded this). This repeats over and over until the crosswalk changes to green, at which point there is a two-second trill tone followed by a repeating bell tone. The bell tone is one bell, followed by two bells, repeated four times, followed by a very brief pause, and then the sequence is repeated again. This continues until the crosswalk changes back to red, at which point the "rouge piéton" message resumes.

The annunciation continues for at least one cycle of the traffic lights and then stops, unless the button is pressed again.

The audio quality of the annunciation is very poor even in real life (it sounds like a wax cylinder recording or something), and can be difficult to understand. This recording accurately captures the poor quality of the annunciation.

The volume of the annunciation is also adjusted dynamically based on ambient noise, so there is a slight change in volume on this recording as the system apparently reacts to noise from traffic or something.

There is a weak background noise that sounds like some sort of machine, but it wasn't coming from the traffic light and I don't know the source.

The recording starts with the crosswalk red, then at about 18.3 seconds it changes to green, then it changes back to red at about 53 seconds. A car passes at around 48 seconds.

Recorded with a Zoom H4n, stereo 96 kHz / 24 bits, built-in mics, from about ten inches below the tiny speaker in the crosswalk sign housing.


  • avatar
    mainer1 8 months, 2 weeks ago

    thank you!

  • avatar
    falstaffe 3 years, 12 months ago

    Well documented. Thankyou!

  • avatar
    klankbeeld 5 years, 7 months ago

    Well done..


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