October 24, 2002
I strongly support audible traffic signals in high traffic crossing areas or in
areas where traffic may be difficult to judge due to right turns on red,
to-intersections with left turn indicators or right turn indicators, and similar
situations, but do not feel that all crossings should be mandated to have these
audible signals. The signals should only be added in the above described
scenarios, taking into account the volume of traffic, right-of-ways, and the
flow of traffic. In addition, the signal should not be obnoxiously loud or
interfere with the visually impaired person's ability to hear the traffic. A
subtle tone should indicate when it is safe to cross and should only sound when
the pedestrian presses for a walk signal. In addition, intersections with
audible signals should be clearly marked on the button so that the blind
pedestrian knows the audible signal is available.
In addition, the current system of off-setting wheelchair ramps from corner
curbs is very effective. Markers should only be necessary in areas with a slope
of less than 1/15 in inches or when a curb is not clearly evident.