|October 17, 2002|
As a blind person, I want to endorse The Access Board's proposed guidelines on Accessible Pedestrian Signals.
When I lived and traveled in New York using a white cane or my guide dog, I felt safe crossing the streets in Manhattan or in QuennsQueens, where I lived. Since moving to California, my sense of safety and security while walking has been severely shaken. With rights on red and left turn signals, which may or may not be activated depending on traffic flow, my ability to perceive when it is safe to cross a street has been diminished.
In Fresno, as well as many other cities, the length of time provided to cross a street is very short. An APS, such as we now have on the corner of Marks and Valentine, allows me and other blind pedestrians to step off the sidewalk and cross the street as soon as the walk sign if illuminated. This provides me the same information as members of the sighted publicand gives me a better chance of crossing the street before the light changes and car traffic starts coming at me.
APSs are not the total solution to the problem, but they would go a long way toward making me and other blind pedestrians feel safer.
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