October 29, 2002
I am a member of The American Council of the Blind. I am writing to express my
desire for the use of audible pedestrian traffic signals to become common
practice. Traffic is becoming more and more complex, and many traffic signals
are set up for the benefit of drivers rather than of pedestrians. This often
means walk lights that are so short in duration that by the time a person who is
blind realizes they have the light, the light has changed or is about to change,
and they must wait for the next walk light. this situation can repeat itself
again and again at such an intersection, which can make crossing such streets
difficult, if not impossible. I was recently hit by a car while crossing the
street to go home from work. Thankfully, I was not hurt. But I already felt
unsafe crossing busy streets, and I now feel even more unsafe. Furthermore, I
understand that several people who are blind have been killed while crossing
such streets in the last several years. These fatalities might have been
prevented had there been audible traffic signals where they crossed. Those who
are sighted do not need to use the movement of the traffic to decide when it is
safe to cross, they have a signal they can easily use to let them know when it's
safe to cross. Pedestrians who are blind do not always travel with others; we
often find ourselves traveling alone. Please do all that you can to give us the
security and safety that is given to those who do not have visual impairments.
I am Deborah Wood. My address is 1[...].
Thank you for your consideration.