October 15, 2002
I am writing to express my opposition to the proposals concerning audible
traffic signals and detectable warnings. I am blind, and I am a competent
traveler, either with a white cane or with my Guide Dog. I do not believe that
every intersection needs to have an audible traffic signal. I am completely able
to cross streets, whether they be lightly traveled or extremely busy. I find the
added noise caused by the audible signals add confusion in a situation where the
traffic is heavy and constant.
I am even more opposed to detectable warnings. I was born with Juvenile
Rheumatoid Arthritis. my right knee is fused, and I have joint replacements in
my left knee and both hips. Sometimes, the slightest change in the elevation or
texture of a sidewalk or road can cause me to stumble or lose my balance and
fall. Those who want detectable warnings to help them stop for edges, platforms
or to cross a street are not considering the needs of people in wheel chairs or
who have difficulty walking. If a blind person uses the white cane or a dog
guide properly, there should be no need for these detectable warnings.
Thank you very much.
Instructor, Seattle Lighthouse Education and Training