October 9, 2002
Regarding pedestrian safety, serious steps need to be taken, especially in
Arizona's larger cities. While better education and stronger enforcement can't
hurt, making it easier for pedestrians to negotiate street crossings would be
fairly easy to do.
Consider the English model, where the use of noticeable ramps, distinct texture
changes at the approach to street crossings, audible signals and tactile signals
all combine to enhance the safety of visually and hearing impaired.
As I train dogs in downtown Phoenix, I notice many pedestrian signals being
replaced with newer versions that give a countdown as the light is about to
change from green to yellow. Unfortunately, the countdown is in visual form
only, and is not usable or even noticeable to the visually impaired pedestrian.
Since the timer is already installed and programmed, it would be a simple
electrical re-fit to have the same signal also drive a beeper along with the
countdown. With a bit more effort, the tone or frequency could change as green
Thanks for the chance to give some input. If I can provide further assistance,
please feel free to contact the Eye Dog Foundation. 602-276-0051
Director of Training
Eye Dog Foundation