Paula M. Achter
October 17, 2002
I am Paula Achter. I am writing you about my concerns of having audible and
detectible warnings are every controlled intersection in our country. I was
present at the hearing that was held in Portland. I was also one of the people
marching outside the building opposing audible signals and detectable warnings
at every controlled intersection. Yes, I am a member of the National Federation
of the Blind (NFB). And want you to know that the people who were in Portland
are only a fraction of the blind in our organization. The NFB has at least
50,000 members in our country. Our organization also has members worldwide.
Please don't be misguided by the numbers printed in the Portland Oregonian.
Although these signals would be helpful on some intersections, I believe there
is something else to be considered. In our area there is, a bus system that is
not efficient for blind people, let alone sighted people to use to get to work
or to other places in the community. At the hearing, I heard talk of the right
for blind people to have the same treatment with signals that are equivalent to
sighted people's Walk and Don't Walk signs. I think the blind have the right to
have efficient transportation just like the sighted. Investing money in our
transportation systems helps everyone.
I think you need to evaluate each individual city in our country to find out
what its needs are. I would prefer to see our portion of this money go on
improving our transportation system before these signals are placed everywhere.
You also need to evaluate each intersection individually to find out where these
signals and warnings would be most effective It would be helpful to you to have
blind people help you do this.
Thank you for listening.
Paula M. Achter