Mary Jane Fry
September 29, 2002
Dear Board Members:
I am a blind person and a member of the National Federation of the Blind. During
a portion of my 30-year career as a federal employee, I traveled by public
transportation across state lines to Massachusetts on a daily basis. During
those years and in my other travel experiences, I have been able to safely
cross-busy intersections by listening to the flow of traffic and other
pedestrian sound cues
I am writing with regards to Section 1202 concerning the use of audible traffic
signals when appropriate for safety. Modifications should be considered only
when there is a sufficient absence of nonvisual cues. I understand that the
purpose of the guideline proposals would be to provide audible pedestrian
traffic signals at every intersection where there is a walk - donít walk sign. I
believe that the beeping of these audible signals will cause confusion and make
it hard to concentrate on the flow of traffic.
Most intersections do not require an ats for accessibility and for safety of
blind pedestrians. Only intersections with complex geometry signalization or
varied signalization for each lane may be appropriate for an ats.
Vibrotactile indicators should be used in preference to audible signals in order
to minimize distractions and better promote safety.
Locator tones at all intersections should not be included in the proposals and
should be subject to further research.
Concerning detectable tactile sidewalk warnings. At most intersections the built
in environment provides accessible cues to determine the difference between the
sidewalk and the street. It is only necessary to have a detectable warning
whenever a sidewalk, (including a median or island) joins a crosswalk. The
warnings should only be installed when the slope is virtually flat. This is
referred to as 1 - 15 or flatter or one inch downward for every 15 inches of
Thank you for your attention. I hope you will give my requests serious
Mary Jane Fry.