October 4, 2002
PLEASE don't approve the audible traffic signals and detectable warnings. While
these things may be necessary in some situations, it is hardly necessary to put
them everywhere. If they are to be installed, please let blind people, rather
than concerned sighted people, tell you where to put them.
In most situations, there are already audible traffic signals and detectable
warnings in place. The edges of curbs are detectable, as is the space between an
El-car and the El-platform; a blind person can tell where he is simply by
properly using his cane. In most situations, if the sound of traffic is in from
of us, it means we can't cross the street yet; if the traffic sounds are to our
right or left, it means we're free to go forward. Audible signals would be
necessary only in areas where there are other noises in the mix.
Audible signals can break down or malfunction; if that happens, lawsuits are
very likely soon to follow. Sighted people would be put at risk by detectable
warnings, because they usually go too fast to notice them. A blind person who
needs audible signals or detectable warnings will either have someone with
vision with him, or ask for help--yep, good old human interaction--the best
things in life are free!
National Federation of the Blind, Chicago Chapter