|October 14, 2002|
To Whom It May Concern:
I am totally blind, a Guide Dog user who has received training in how to travel safely within my environment. I support the installation of audible traffic signals wherever possible and ask you to support the installation and funding of such equipment.
In The American Council of the Blind's The Braille Forum, May 2002's article entitled "AFFILIATE NEWS" it states:
"Albany Becomes More Accessible a Step at a Time
"Another step toward improved pedestrian safety was achieved recently when the first in a series of audible traffic signals was installed, and turned on at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Hawk Street, near the Capitol Building in Albany, N.Y., one of Albany's busiest intersections. While there are a few widely scattered audible traffic signals on the outer edges of Albany, the intersection of Washington Avenue and Hawk Street is the first high-volume intersection to receive an audible traffic signal. Several additional key intersections are expected to receive accessible pedestrian signals in the near future.
"While the audible traffic signal project has been a very important endeavor of the Capital District Chapter of the American Council of the Blind of New York, the real winners are the members of the blind and visually impaired community, not merely any particular agency."
I have worked in this area of Albany for over ten years. Until the audible traffic signal was placed at this particular corner, I did not cross this intersection without assistance, since it is not one you dare cross at unless you know precisely when it begins or you will be caught out in the middle of the street in very heavy traffic.
Audible traffic signals let me know, just as the red lights and green lights let my sighted counterparts know, when it should be safe to cross. I am still responsible for making the decision whether to cross the street, just as I am now. The audible traffic signals just give me more help, more of an idea of my safety margins.
When considering supporting or funding audible traffic signals, please think of those of us who wish to use these signals as tools to keep ourselves and/or our service animals safe.
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