October 28, 2002
I am Blind and have been trained to travel independently and have been doing so
for over thirty years. In most situations, I can use trafic patterns to
determine when to cross an intersection. however, intersections are becoming
more complicated and vehicles are getting quieter. There are also times when
there isn't enough parallel trafic to determine when it's safe to cross. In
addition, society has determined that pedistrians need to be given additional
information at many intersections. This is done by walk and don't walk signs. I
haven't seen the prowac report but here are some comments that make sence to me
related to accessible trafic signals. I believe accessible pedistrian signals
should be installed when:
1. the public determines that pedistrians need additional information at
intersections vi a walk and don't walk sign 2. When parallel trafic is too light
to determine when the pedistrian gets the signal 3. When it is difficult to
determine alignment at an intersection or to identify the crosswalk while
crossing the street 4. When the length of the cycle changes for any reason (I.E.
when a button is pushed or when a light rail or bus changes the light cycle. 5.
when an intersection is in a t configuration 6 When an intersection is unusually
complex 7. At all round abouts
As I stated earlier, Blind people who are properly trained can travel
independently in most situations. However, trafic patterns are changing and
vehicles are getting quieter. In addition, many Blind and Visually Impaired
people have not received the necessary training. For these reasons, I urge the
access board to support prowac's recommendations and consider the guidelines I
listed in these comments.
Thanks so much.