|September 21, 2002|
To whom it may concern:
I am writing to ask you to reconsider your proposal regarding audible traffic signals and vibrotactile warnings. The guidelines you have set forth would require the implementation of these signals at every intersection. This is an extreme measure that does not justify the high cost that will be involved. The Majority of blind pedestrians are competent travelers who are able to safely cross intersections using the traffic patterns as sound cues. The noise created by these signals would obscure the sounds of the traffic and might prove more dangerous to us. I also believe that the assertion that audible signals can be used as a directional aid is a false one. The eight beeping points that would be generated by APS at each intersection would only be confusing and hazardous to our traveling ability. Furthermore, there is no research currently in existence that demonstrates the effect of audible signals on blind pedestrians. Your guidelines would require consistent placement of these signals, which should make the locater tones unnecessary. These tones would also prove to be exceedingly noisy and unpleasant for many pedestrians, whether they are blind or sighted. For these reasons, I strongly urge you to abandon this proposal.
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