[nfb-talk] Fw: [peeps-talk] Fw: Article on audio crossing signals from today's Dispatch

Ray Foret jr rforetjr at comcast.net
Thu Sep 24 00:39:23 UTC 2009

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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kenneth Chrane" <kenneth.chrane at verizon.net>
To: "Multiple recipients of NFBnet NFB-Talk Mailing List" 
<NFB-Talk at NFBnet.org>
Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 6:58 PM
Subject: [nfb-talk] Fw: [peeps-talk] Fw: Article on audio crossing signals 
from today's Dispatch

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Tom Kaufman
To: peeps-talk at yahoogroups.com
Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 3:16 PM
Subject: [peeps-talk] Fw: Article on audio crossing signals from today's 

  Subject: Fw: Article on audio crossing signals from today's Dispatch

Cities installing more signals for blind pedestrians

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 3:06 AM


Dean Narciso


Jeff Hinckleydispatch

Sharon Speck of Worthington keeps a hand on a touch pad that will vibrate 
when it's time for her to cross the street.

As the ambulance siren cut through the drone of heavy traffic, Sharon Speck 
gripped her white cane, clutched another she uses for balance and waited to

cross a Worthington street.

Speck can see only peripheral shadows; she hears speech best when inches 
from the source, especially near street noise.

"Often, the audible signal doesn't work," she said of the traffic light at 
High and North streets. "And when it does, I can't understand what it's 

She relies instead on a pole-mounted touch pad that vibrates when it's time 
to cross.

Speck clings to her independence -- as she does her cane, her memory and the 
kindness of motorists, who allow her more time to cross High Street than the

automatic timer allows her.

The Worthington City Council voted last week to accept bids for nine 
additional audible signal crossings. The estimated cost: $75,000.

The news thrilled Speck, who moved to Worthington 10 years ago.

"That's wonderful," she said. "They're not doing nearly enough."

Three years ago, the City Council considered installing four audible signals 
but postponed the work after some residents argued that the chirping noise

would bother neighbors or interrupt activities on the Village Green.

A spoken voice replaces the chirping in the new equipment. And volume rises 
or falls depending on the street noise.

Cost also has been a factor. At last week's meeting, Councilman John 
Butterfield asked whether the upgrades might be phased in, based on 
intersections where

demand is greatest.

Councilman David Norstrum agreed, but only to a point: "I do feel that, as a 
friendly community, we have to be as accessible to the community as we can

be, relative to the costs."

The intersection at Highland Avenue and High Street will be retrofitted 
first, to accommodate the November conference of a visually impaired group.

Cities typically install audible signals when residents request them.

Columbus has 76 audible crossings installed at residents' requests, said 
Kurt Kochensparger, who manages the crossings.

Dublin has two -- at Bridge and High streets and Frantz Road and Blazer 
Parkway -- said city engineer Paul Hammersmith, who added that Dublin has 
had few


Gahanna has about four audible crossings, but some residents want more.

"It's kind of a battle to get them," said Gahanna resident Mary Hiland, who 
also is executive director of the Ohio chapter of the American Council of 


"If I was the mayor, I would go more by the spirit of the law rather than 
the letter. If a citizen needs an audible signal or some other accommodation 

be safe, I think they ought to spend the money."

Marysville installed a signal seven years ago after a blind man, who has 
since died, sought one near his apartment. And a blind man who lobbied 

three years ago has since moved out of the state.

City leaders shouldn't look for excuses where public safety is concerned, 
said Linda Wyman, a Worthington resident who is blind.

"As a person whose life is helped by these, I don't really care what kind of 
signals they use," Wyman said. "It's a safety issue for everyone."

Worthington City Manager Matt Greeson said each crossing will have both 
tactile and audible signals and that newer technology will make signals more 

"I think Worthington values walkability and also values service to all 
generations and all persons," he said. "And one of the things we've heard 
from our

community is that anything you can do to improve accessibility is a good 

dnarciso at dispatch.com

From: Sammons, Elizabeth [mailto:Elizabeth.Sammons at rsc.state.oh.us]

Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 10:57 AM

To: Sammons, Jeff

Subject: request from today's Dispatch

article on crossing signals for blind.



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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