General Description

There are various types of Pedestrian Control Equipment (PCE) devices available, and an assortment of them are specified in Section 11 1400; Optical Turnstiles, Waist-High Turnstiles, Full-Height Turnstiles, and Pedestrian Gates. Each are specified under a matching article heading title in Part 2. These PCE, or turnstiles as they are often called, provide a form of gate that allows only one person to pass through at a time, to enforce one-way traffic, to allow for counting of people entering through the gate, or to restrict traffic to only those that insert a coin, ticket, pass, or have a card read by the PCE device prior to allowing passage. Originally turnstiles were used to allow people to pass through while keeping sheep and other livestock penned in. Modern applications include public transport, such as a bus station or airport, or other venues such as stadiums, amusement parks, ski resorts, and casinos.

Use of turnstiles, from a business/revenue standpoint, can provide an accurate and verifiable count of attendance. From a security perspective, they direct people to enter single-file, so security personnel have a clear view of each person. Persons with disabilities may have a difficult time using turnstiles. In these cases, a wider aisle gate or a pedestrian gate may be provided. Turnstiles often use ratchet mechanisms to allow one direction of rotation for ingress, but preventing rotation in the other direction for egress.



Optical Turnstiles are used to restrict or control access to a building or secure area of a facility. They are usually part of an access control system that also contains software, card readers, and controllers. Optical turnstiles operate similar to regular mechanical turnstiles except they rely on electronic infrared beams, and audible/visual interfaces to control entry. They may contain dropping barrier arms, swinging or retracting barrier panels, or access-controlled door openings made of aluminum tubes, and tempered or laminated glass. Rather than providing a significant physical restraint, the optical turnstile uses sounds and lights to alert the security staff of any attempted unauthorized entry. They are best suited for locations where design and aesthetics are important, such as the lobby of a large office building, with a single path through the space and some form of security staff in close proximity. The pass-through rate is high for an optical turnstile, with less delay than other control methods. They may also have a barrier-free configuration in compliance with the ADA making them suitable for use by the handicapped.

Optical turnstiles were first available in the late 1990’s. The technology has advanced since then to distinguish between tailgate/piggybackers and roller bags and luggage. Many security optical turnstiles are internet protocol (IP) network ready, and certified for mechanical and electrical safety in compliance with UL 325 and UL 2593 standards. The section provides for various lane configurations, cabinet styles, and operational controls with optical arrays and card readers. There are various options for power and wiring requirements, method of operation, display lights, violation alarm, and tailgate sensitivity in addition to others as indicated in Part 2 of the section.

Waist-High Turnstiles or sometimes referred to as “Half-Height” are often used in fairs, attractions, and sporting event arenas. A ticket or a pass is inserted in a slot, the barcode is read, and if access is allowed, the motor operates the turnstile providing access for the user. The section provides various types of barriers, such as rotating or dropping arms or swinging panels. These barriers are only 30 to 34 inches high, and may be a stainless steel tube, acrylic panel, or other type of material. The arm style has traditionally been the most popular. There are newer variations of this style available. The enclosure or cabinet for the operating equipment and hardware is available in numerous designs. These vary based on size, style, materials used for cladding and top surface of the cabinet. The section provides for various operational controls; card readers, manual, or electric lock. There are various options available for controlling the turnstile, and a battery-powered counter is also listed as an optional device.

Full-Height Turnstiles are a larger version of the turnstile, usually 7 feet high, and similar in operation to a revolving door. This layout eliminates the potential of having anyone jump over the turnstile, which happens with the waist-high style. This turnstile may be set-up to rotate in only one direction for one-way traffic, or allow for rotation in both directions for two-way traffic. It may be configured as single or tandem lanes. Internal components mayconsist of curved metal tubes vertically aligned or two curved and molded plastic sheets that rotate around a center support assembly The section provides for various operational controls; card readers, manual, or electric lock. There are various options available for controlling the turnstile, and a battery-powered counter is also listed as an optional device.

Pedestrian Gates are fully welded assemblies that are available as a waist-high or full-height gate. A pedestrian gate is often provided adjacent to a full-height turnstile to allow for accessible access or passage for persons with equipment or personal luggage that will not fit through the turnstile. These pedestrian gates may be specified to open in one direction without locking hardware, or support use of card readers mounted on the gate with activation device integration. A lock, if required, may be controlled by magnetic plates that release when power is interrupted, or when electric power is applied to an electric strike lock to release the latch allowing the gate to be opened. A push bar may be provided on the inside of gate to allow for egress by simply depressing the bar.


How to Specify

Editing of Section 11 1400 – Pedestrian Control Equipment is designed to start in PART 2 - PRODUCTS, progress to PART 3 - EXECUTION, and finish up with PART 1 - GENERAL. The various styles, components, material and finish options comprise the main articles in PART 2.

When a particular article or paragraph is chosen that contains a reference standard in PART 2 and PART 3 the corresponding standard cited under REFERENCE STANDARDS article in PART 1 is activated. If the Consolidated List of Citations option is active within Summary Info, cross sectional links (not visible in the links window) will activate the reference standard in Section 01 4219 – Reference Standards as well.

When a particular article or paragraph is activated in PART 2 and PART 3 that cites another Section, the corresponding Section cited under RELATED REQUIREMENTS article in PART 1 is activated.
Optional text and choices under PART 2 include a fill-in option to accommodate any updates that listed manufacturers may offer but are not shown in the listed choice of options. Default options for choices are based upon what would be reasonable for the application.