|October 26, 2002|
I am commenting on the proposed rules for installing audible traffic signals and detectible warnings. I am totally blind, and use a guide dog.
Detectible warnings are only needed at curbs that are very flat, where it's hard to tell where the sidewalk ends and the street begins. They're not needed anywhere else, because it's easy to tell where the street begins when there is a real ramp or curb. Putting them on every corner is a waste of money.
Audible traffic signals are only needed where the crossing is tricky, such as where several streets come together, or the streets are offset, or the traffic controls when the signal changes. For the ordinary, straight crossing, it's not necessary; they're easy to figure out just as they are. I live and work in the New York City metropolitan area. The last thing this area needs is more noise. I say, put the audible signals where things aren't straightforward, and leave the rest alone. If city engineers aren't sure about what's tricky or not, let them ask the people who know, blind people, and not just assume everything is a problem for us. Thank you for your time and attention.
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