October 20, 2002
I'm writing in regard to the issue of audible pedestrian signals and detectable
warnings. I am a blind pedestrian who travels quite a bit. I've found that
there are always times and situations where audible
pedestrian signals or detectable warnings could be useful -- complicated
intersections with varying traffic patterns, for instance, or heavy traffic
flow. My independent mobility skills are good, but just as
sighted pedestrians sometimes need more than just red and green lights to
adequately judge their safety, blind travelers may also need extra clues as
Also, it should be noted that not all blind people have the same skill level,
and with an aging population who may not have the well-honed skills as those
have received independent travel training when they were younger. Audible (and
vibrating) signals are also useful to the deaf-blind.
I hope that these thoughts will contribute to making a thoughtful decision
regarding these matters that will benefit the greatest number of people of all
visual acuities and mobility skill levels.