October 19, 2002
To Whom It May Concern:
I am a blind person living in Northern California. I have been crossing the
street, safely, for many years, and find your proposed actions to be abhorrent.
Re: ATS noise makers: As a sighted person, when the light turns green, do you
just plow ahead into the street, or do you look both ways to see if some idiot
is not obeying the traffic signals? As a blind person, if you install these
"chirping/cuckooing things, you are removing our ability to "look" both ways
before venturing into traffic. We listen to traffic to see which way it's
flowing and then, safely, cross the street. The noisy ATS machines are, in fact,
a detriment to safety. There are, however, alternative to these machines that I
find acceptable. The newer machines give the pedestrian at the corner the choice
to use or not use these devices. It is my understanding that these are
comparable in price (approximately $4,000 per pole).
Re: Detectable Bumps: As a blind person who walks in public everyday, both in
urban and suburban areas, I find the concept of tactile bumps to be ridiculous.
My cane, and those of all of the blind people I know, finds, effectively, curbs,
berms, grass edges, and whatever else comes along quite effectively. The
"truncated dome" rubberized crossing strips are problematic for most of the cane
travelers I know. They have a tendency to "grab" the tip of a cane, not to
mention the discomfort it will cause some of the folks traveling in wheelchairs.
Again, it is my understanding that this project will cost an estimated $40
Billion. I think that this is quite a chunk of money that could be much better
spent (education comes to mind) since we do not want this.
Thank you for taking the time to read my comments. I hope you will see fit to
help people who want your help in the future. I, for one, do not, in this case.