|September 15, 2002|
I would like to voice my opinion of this report. As a blind person who uses public transportation, I can tell you that detectable warnings and accessible pedestrian signals are a necessity!
When a blind person travels, he/she wants to be as independent as possible. I live in Atlanta, and have traveled the subway system before and after detectable warning strips were put on our platforms. There is no way to express completely the amount of help they have been! I can travel without wondering if, or when I might walk off the platform. There was a time that maybe these things wouldn't have been as important as I feel they are now, but times change, and like everything else, we need to keep up with those changes. There are more and more people using the subways and busses these days in order to help the condition of our atmosphere. The more people that are around, the more noise, therefore, the harder it is to determine exactly where you are at any given time. We rely on our sense of hearing and touch to guide and direct us to our destination. Detectable warnings help facilitate this greatly, so why shouldn't we have them?
As for the accessible pedestrian signals; I work in a building that is on the corner of two of the most dangerous streets in Atlanta. Even though there is a red light present, it is impossible for a blind person to cross either of these streets. There is turn traffic which prevents us from determining when it is safe to cross. Because of this situation, I am forced to use alternate transportation to and from work so that I can make it back the next day alive. When there is no fix for a problem, then it is understandable why nothing is done, but when there is something that will solve a problem, but the problem is ignored, well, this just doesn't make a whole lot of sense, does it?
Thank you very much for taking the time to read my thoughts on this subject, and I hope with everything in me that one day we will be afforded the same opportunities as the rest of the traveling public.
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