|October 20, 2002|
I am opposed to the draft guidelines as they are currently written concerning APS, blind persons are capable of crossing streets using traffic noise independently in most situations. However, I can see where APS would be of assistance in complex intersections. I feel that it is unnecessary to install APS at all new and renovated intersections as the proposed guidelines suggest without any consideration as to the level of complexity of that intersection's traffic flow.
I believe that the Access Board's guidelines should require that a panel of persons from blind consumer groups plus mobility instructors in that community should decide if APS and detectable warnings are warranted for a particular intersection.
It has been my experience in crossing streets with my cane is not a problem but the issue is that some drivers don't pay attention to see if anyone is in the cross walk before turning right on red for example. Once trained a blind person can negotiate most intersections with no issues.
2. Detectable warnings on cross walk ramps I feel that detectable warnings are not necessary on most cross walk ramps except when the decline or incline is very slight. Again this would be best determined by a panel of blind persons and mobility instructors in the community where the detectable warnings are to be installed.
3. Detectable warning strips along train platforms I am whole heartily in favor of placing detectable warning strips at the edge of train platforms. Not because of my blindness but because I think it makes sense as a safety issue for all persons and I think it should have been made a requirement from the start. Think of all our children who don't pay attention to there surroundings until it is to late. Think of
all the adults who have something on their hurried minds and don't pay attention to what they are doing eater. See I think the detectable warnings on train platforms is not a blind safety issue but a people safety issue.
Now I could envision a circumstance during rush hour where there would be so many hurried people pushing to get on a train that it would not allow a blind person to correctly use their cane. So the edge of the platform might be difficult to find at that time. But let me make myself perfectly clear that if it was a perfect world where persons respected you and allowed you to use your cane properly it would be no problem to find the edge of the platform.
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