Terry M. Olsen
October 15, 2002
Dear Access Board:
I am a member of the National Federation of the Blind of Idaho. I know many of
the people who went to Portland, Oregon to protest the unnecessary waste of
billions of taxpayer dollars to install the "accessible pedestrian signals" (APS).
Many of the blind people I know might have trouble with ONE or TWO intersections
in Boise. However, more noise at these locations would actually make these
places more unsafe for cane users or dog users to be able to judge traffic. This
is where a vibrotactile APS would probably be appropriate. But as I understand
it, the plan you want to implement requires beeping locator tones and detectable
bumps at every crosswalk that has a signal across the country! This is
ridiculous! Please, please only change those intersections when the traffic
patterns do not provide the clues the blind pedestrian can rely upon to know it
is safe to walk.
In Boise the blind people I know would love you if you could get those
transportation dollars to be used for more taxi scripts and a better bus system.
Don't waste it on tones that are unnecessary and probably exceedingly unpleasant
for many as well.
We also have a store in Boise that has those stupid bumps that you are
requiring. Anyone I ask tells me the bumps are not helpful, in fact they are
harmful. When it is wet, the bumps make the pathway extremely slippery.
From the newspaper clippings from Portland, it sounded like the two different
blind groups talking on this issue were of equal number. That is not so. The
National Federation of the Blind is the largest organization of blind people in
the country. We have over 50,000 members across the country. I understand the
ACB doesn't even have half that number! Even so, surely the ACB doesn't want
more intersections made dangerous for the blind!
Please reconsider these guidelines you have for the intersections across the
Terry M. Olsen