September 19, 2002
My name is Gary Burdette I am a registered
voter, and a home owner. I am blind and I use a guide dog named Jabar he is a
yellow lab from Guide Dogs for the Blind, San Rafael California. I live in
Everson WA, in Whatcom County.
I'm President of the United Blind of Whatcom County(UBWC). I'm Executive
Board Member of the Washington Council of the Blind (WCB), and Vice President
of Guide Dog Users of Washington State(GDUWS).
With in my County there is not one intersection that is accessible to the
blind pedestrian. We have tried to work with our local municipalities, County,
and state governments to put in directional and audible accessible pedestrian
signals. They have continually refused to make the necessary changes to our
intersections and crossings that would help us navigate safely across our
streets and highways. We need directional guidance pedestrian signals (APS's)and
detectable warnings at all crosswalk ramps or curb and crossings.
These devices should be used to help us know when traffic patterns are safe
to walk. We need APS's for directional guidance for our safety as blind
pedestrians, and we need a way to locate the APS.
We need more information when we are trying to navigate a street
or intersection. What streets are we crossing and there directions. If there
is a Island or islands in the intersection. Some intersections have right and
left turning lanes. Odd angles This information is extremely necessary to
cross a street or intersection safely as a blind pedestrian.
I am urging you to put in guidelines that
will require directional guidance pedestrian signals (APS's)and detectable
warnings at all crosswalk ramps or curb cuts and crossings. APS's and
detectible warnings are extremely necessary for our safety as blind