|October 14, 2002|
To Whom it May Concern:
I am writing to oppose the draft guidelines proposed by the ATBCB. As I understand it, the proposal would require the placement of audible pedestrian signals at all intersections with walk and don't walk signs and detectable warnings at all intersections.
Blind pedestrians have traveled the streets of this country safely for many years without the need for these devices, and in my opinion, there is no need to require them to be virtually everywhere. Instead, the board should make rules that take a less radical approach to determining where these devices should be used, and in the rare instance when their use would be beneficial, vibrotactile signals should be used rather than the noisy, disorienting audible signals that are proposed.
As for the requirement that detectable warnings be installed at all intersections, I believe this is an extreme and unnecessary approach to accessibility. It is a simple matter for most of us to determine where the sidewalk ends and the street begins at the vast majority of intersections in this country. Detectable warnings should only be used when there is virtually no slope or drop off between sidewalk and street.
I am a taxpayer and have been for many years. I want my tax money spent on tools that will assist me as a blind pedestrian. However, I don't want money spent on fundamentally flawed rules and regulations. I believe the proposals made by the Access Board clearly fall into that category, and I would urge you to consider a less costly and more effective means of insuring that the streets of our nation will be accessible to me and other blind people.
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