John W. Stevenson
|September 21, 2002|
If you are not, you should be aware of an intersection in Milton, Ontario, Canada that has or had APSís. The intersection is opposite a plaza and very close to a nursing home and another traffic light. I worked in the area as a mobility instructor many years ago. However a local resident, my blind student, who worked at the bank in the plaza recounted the following story.
One of the senior citizens from the nursing home was told by the staff and/or other residents that the intersection had APSís. However they neglected to tell her which intersection had the APSís. When she heard the audible signal, she crossed the street. Unfortunately the APSís were at the other intersection, the light at her intersection was still red. She was struck by a car.
I believe that APSís are completely unnecessary under virtually all conditions. Conventional modifications of traffic lights, specifically conformity with the uniform traffic code for pedestrian clearance intervals allowing for pedestrian walking speeds of 2 feet per second, are all that any pedestrian, blind or sighted, require. In the example of the intersection in Milton, the addition of APSís turned a safe intersection into a dangerous one. In my opinion, decisions related to pedestrian traffic control are better left to the Highway Safety Administration (HSA). The HSA bases at least some of its decisions on police reports and court decisions.
Stevenson, Director, Rehabilitation for the Blind
Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist
Certified Trainer/Supervisor of Orientation and Mobility Specialist
New York State Approved Rehabilitation Teacher and Technology Consultant for the Blind
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