|David W. Wilder||September 8, 2002|
I am writing to you today to express my concern regarding detectable warnings and audible pedestrian signals.
The arguments that have been made against these warning systems appear to me to be myopic. The public perception of the blind would be degraded? A left turn arrow at a busy intersection does not degrade the drivers that rely on them to turn safely. The "rumble" strip warning on the street prior to a stop sign, or a crosswalk at a school zone, does not degrade the drivers that drive over them.
As a blind person, with a mobility impairment, that relies on both a white cane, and a support cane; I do not feel degraded in public, when I am traveling and take note of the presence of detectable warnings. I appreciate the notice, and take heed of the fact that I need to increase awareness, and recognize that there could be traffic crossing, or a level change, perpendicular to my direction of travel.
On the issue of audible signals; if they are installed properly, they can be of enormous assistance to blind and visually impaired pedestrians. The audible signal gives no more "false sense of security" to a blind pedestrian, than what is provided to a sighted pedestrian relying on the "walk" signal. The audible signal simply provides a "level field" for pedestrians.
As a matter of fact, the detectable warnings provide for a "level field" between all pedestrians traveling in public areas. How can that possibly be negative?
I would ask you and your colleagues to maintain the requirement for detectable warnings and audible pedestrian signals, in ADAAG
David W. Wilder
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