October 22, 2002
I strongly support Audible Pedestrian Signals and Detectible Warnings. Both of
these accommodations give travelers with limited vision the same information
that fully sighted people get automatically.
Curb cuts are necessary for people using wheel chairs but are very dangerous for
those using white canes and guide dogs. We are likely to be in the road before
we detect that we have entered an intersection. We also cannot determine exactly
which direction to cross the street when there is no curb with which to line up.
It is very easy to diagonal an intersection with the blended curb or curb cut.
On Saturday, October 19, 2002, Lucas Frank of The Seeing Eye, gave the members
of Garden State Guide Dog Users a class in using the six Audible Pedestrian
Signals in Morristown, New Jersey. We all felt that this was a wonderful
experience and would like this type of information at all complex intersections.
Often, it is very difficult to determine the best time to start a crossing since
traffic seems to be constantly moving with "right on red", left green arrows"
and other confusing patterns. The Audible Signal tells us the optimum moment to
begin our crossing. We know that we must always be alert to turning cars and
those who run red lights but the Audible Signal gives us a consistent indication
of the "Walk Sign". A sighted person has the green light. It is often difficult
to know for sure when it is safest to initiate the crossing and if we delay, we
are in danger.
Thank you for these very important and safety accommodations.