October 25, 2002
I am opposed to the current draft guidelines for Audible Traffic Signals. I do
not believe it will make the environment safer for blind or visually impaired
individuals. Frankly, I believe it will make crossing the street much more
difficult. I want to be able to hear the traffic patterns in order to know when
to cross the street. Placing these signals at a busy traffic intersection would
interfere with the sound of the flow of the traffic. The variety of tones which
will come from the signals will be confusing and also a distraction. There will
be too many different sounds going off at once. Trying to figure out which
sound is for what traffic light and listening for the traffic patterns at the
same time does not make for a safer environment.
Besides making the environment less safe for crossing the streets, these
guidelines will get quite expensive for local communities and I am sure local
communities can find alternative ways to spend their money.
Busy intersections are a problem for both pedestrians and vehicles. A better
solution would be to make the environment safer for all.
Most of the time detectable warnings are not necessary for crossing the street
because there is enough of a slope to tell when we get to the street. If the
sidewalk approaching the street is flat then there may be a need for some kind
of warning but it would be better to have no warning than a warning which would
not be safe to all the individuals who walk on the sidewalk. I have seen some
of the detectable warnings and I find them annoying,
I urge you not to issue final guidelines with provisions as extreme as this