Douglas James Faber
|October 28, 2002|
My name is Douglas James Faber, I live at [ ... ]. I
am writing to help you see how the audible traffic signals will detract from
safe travel for the blind instead of enhance it.
I travel using a guide dog and if I cannot properly listen to the traffic flow, I put both my guide dog and myself in danger. The signals make it hard to hear the traffic flow and it creates hesitation when crossing a street, this is not a safe way to travel.
I also do not believe that raised bumps are going to help anyone find the slope of a curb to see which way to cross. I use the cub cuts when available, but they are not necessary for one to line up when crossing a street. Again, a trained blind traveler will use the environmental clues and line up with the sound of traffic. The sound that is most effective in finding traffic clues.
Proper training on using a long white cane or guide dog are the key to safe blind travel. The coo-coos and beep-beeps only take away from the relevant clues a blind person needs to travel. I have traveled for over 15 years safely and independently and I have done so by acquiring proper blindness skills training and putting the training to practice. If you don't use it, you lose it. The blind are in need of safe training and then they need to get out and do, not sit. The sitting is caused because, I believe, there are not enough competent blind travel skills instructors nor sufficient amount of orientation and mobility trainers available to the blind population across America.
I propose you stop the installation of audible traffic signals at every intersection and concentrate on the intersections where they ARE needed. A blanket sweep of installations will only cost money and not get the blind population out and about using the expensive devices.
Thank you for your consideration.
D. J. Faber
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