|September 22, 2002|
As a blind pedestrian I welcome audible traffic signals wherever I find them. The type I have used most often is the audible signal which is activated when a pedestrian presses a button for a "walk" signal. Having the audible beep gives me the same information audibly that a sighted pedestrian receives visually. A blind or sighted pedestrian still must check the traffic before crossing, but the audible signal is extremely valuable in this evaluation process.
Everyone involved in this issue has a right to his or her opinion. However, there is a core group speaking out against these signals and claiming to speak "for the blind." Believe me, they do not speak for me or most of the blind people I know. They do not have the right, in my opinion, to elevate their view to a higher level of consideration by claiming to speak for all blind people.
If the type of audible signal I mentioned above is used, no one should object to it because a person can choose to use it or not use it. It is an issue of freedom of choice and pedestrian safety. I hope that the board will adopt a reasonable position that enhances both of these areas.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
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