|September 14, 2002|
I am a visually impaired attorney. My spouse, who is also blind, is a homemaker and community volunteer.
Both of us are in strong support of the detectable warning and accessible pedestrian signal recommendations made by the board's Committee on Public Rights-of-way. Far too long, the safety and access needs of blind travelers have been ignored. Thus, it is extremely gratifying to know that, at long last, the extreme hazards that the roadways of America represent to blind and visually impaired pedestrians, whether trained or not, are being recognized. The absence of detectable warings has caused far more harm than just the deaths and injuries of individuals who have fallen off transit platforms. I cannot count the number of times that I have inadvertently walked out into the street due to the absence of these warnings, and narrowly missed being hit by a car.
As the experience of those with disabilities who reside in Sacramento indicates, detectable warning systems an be designed that meet the needs of the blind community without causing problems for those with other disabilities. As for the need of accessible pedestrian signals, I join the thousands of mobility-trained blind persons, as well as the many more who are not, in urging the board to recognize that many roadways are almost impossible to cross without the use of such signals. I greatly appreciate the board's consideration of my viewpoints on these extraordinarily important matters.
Very truly yours
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