|September 10, 2002|
I am a proud, blind, American citizen and, as such, use public transportation
for most of my mobility needs. I am writing to register my support of detectable
warnings and accessible pedestrian signals in all
Public Rights of Way.
Each week as I walk the public streets and boulevards in my city, I am constantly challenged each and every time I cross a busy street. There is increased vehicular traffic and people today seem much too anxious to get to their destination, making our streets quite dangerous. I often feel as I take my life in my own hands crossing these busy streets.
I personally know two blind citizens from my own city of Minneapolis, who have been recently hit by cars, and critically injured while attempting to cross busy streets in broad daylight. Both of these people wandered into parallel traffic. I can't help but believe if there had been audible pedestrian traffic signals installed at each of these crossings, these blind citizens could have been spared their critical injuries and spared many months of rehabilitation time, not to mention the horror that must plague the automobile drivers that hit them! How many more blind citizens must be critically injured or worse yet, how many blind citizens must be killed while attempting to cross a street before it makes sense to install this equipment at busy street crossings? Or at least install this equipment at the most challenging and dangerous crossings? Please know I am not alone in my beliefs and thinking!
I support the PROWAC report and believe that we need to have detectable warnings at places where vehicular traffic is likely to be found and we need accessible pedestrian signals at busy street crossings.
We have the ability and we have the technology available today... and for those in positions of power to implement this capability, it should be their responsibility to do so! It makes the most common sense!
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