Lewis D. Cain
October 28, 2002
I am very much in support of audible signals and textured curb cuts. I have had
very poor vision all my life. I use a cane to get around.
There are several audible signals in the area where I live. They make it much
easier for me to cross the streets. However, it is very important that the poles
with the buttons be placed in the same place in relation to the crossing, or
that locators be on the poles so we can find the buttons. Some have said that
such locator tones would be confusing, but I do not believe that to be true.
Texturing on curb cuts is also very important. It is often hard to tell when you
leave the sidewalk and walk into the street, especially in downtown areas.
I have been fortunate to live in an area that has had audible signals for years,
and we have some textured curb cuts. But most neighborhoods do not have these
things, and blind people shouldn't have to live in one ;small area in order to
As I get older, and as traffic laws and cars change, I have a harder time
hearing the quieter cars at intersections. This will be more and more true as
cars get quieter and quieter.
This past summer, on July 4, a blind woman and her guide dog were hit and
critically injured in my neighborhood. She had broken ribs, a lacerated liver,
broken pelvis and many other injuries. This happened at a crossing that has had
many pedestrian accidents over the past years, but no audible signal. Now the
city has agreed to put in a signal. It shouldn't take a blind person getting hit
and almost killed to make someone see that we need the signal.
Most of us blind people are not super travelers. If some people don't want to
use the signals, they don't have to press the buttons.
Please give those of us who need the audible signals and textured strips the
help we need to travel safely in our neighborhoods and cities.
Lewis D. Cain