Kimberly Pawling, COMS & RTC
|October 28, 2002|
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Kimberly A. Pawling. I hold a certification in Orientation & Mobility (O&M) and in Rehabilitation Teaching with the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals. I am an active member of AERBVI (the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired), and I am currently employed at CITE, Inc. in Orlando, Florida as the O&M Specialist and Rehabilitation Teacher. I have reviewed the following comments written by my colleage Mrs. L. Dianne Ketts, a member of the Environmental Access Committee for AERBVI, and I would like to submit comments on the Draft Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines.
Curb Ramps and Blended Transitions (1104)
Detectable Warning (1104.3.2)
I support inclusion of specifications in the draft guidelines for detectable warnings and urge The Board to include requirements for detectable warnings at ALL slopes and curb ramps where a pedestrian way intersects with a vehicular way regardless of grade.
Pedestrian Signal Phase Timing (1105.3)
I support The Board's draft guideline for Pedestrian Signal Phase Timing, stating that "signal phase timing shall be calculated using a pedestrian walk speed of 3.0 feet per second maximum." Many clients I serve, due to age or other impairments, are not able to complete the crossing of multiple lanes of traffic in the normally allotted time of 4.0 feet per second. The Board's recommendation of 3.0 feet per second would improve safety and opportunity for crossing at numerous intersections.
Medians and Pedestrian Refuge Islands - Detectable Warnings (1105.4.2)
I do not support the EXCEPTION to this recommended guideline stating that "Detectable warnings shall not be required on cut-through islands where the crossing is controlled by signals and is timed for full crossing." It is my recommendation that this EXCEPTION be removed from the proposed guidelines.
Turn Lanes at Intersections (1105.7)
I whole heartedly support the recommendation for pedestrian activated traffic signals at these locations.
Accessible Pedestrian Signals - General (1106.1)
I support the inclusion of specifications for Accessible Pedestrian Signal (APS) systems.
Many intersections in the central Florida area are typical of intersections that can be found throughout the country. Minor, lightly traveled streets often intersect with major arteries. When a visually impaired pedestrian's intention is to cross the major artery, there is often little or no parallel traffic movement on the minor street to indicate that it is the appropriate time for the pedestrian to begin crossing. Accessible Pedestrian Signal technology provides information critical to determining when to begin a crossing in a format that is accessible to the visually impaired pedestrian.
I recommend that The Board use the term "Accessible Pedestrian Signal (APS)" when referring to these types of devices as opposed to "pedestrian signal systems" or "pedestrian signal devices." This terminology would more closely match the language in the MUTCD and current terminology. As a result, engineers and others utilizing the MUTCD when building public rights-of-way will be less likely to encounter conflicting or misguiding terminology.
Once again, thank you for the opportunity to comment.
Kimberly Pawling, COMS & RTC
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