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Traffic Signals for the Blind

August 2nd, 2003 6:16pm Leave a comment

White Plains is trying hard to meet the needs of the blind. They have installed those new crossing signals that tweet and chirp.

I have a lot of time to think of useless things such as these (hence this useless website) and realized that this new traffic thing is actually a really stupid thing. According to White Plains’ website, “The ‘chirp-chirp’ is for east-west crossing and the ‘cuckoo’ is for north south crossing. First of all, if you’re blind, how can you tell north from the south and east from west? How does a sightless know their directions? Secondly, most streets don’t go exactly north, south, east or west. So if you have a street going northeast and the bird signal is chirping, which intersection do you cross? Next, it costs like $6,000 per intersection to install this completely moronic device which is a waste of money. Finally, suppose there is a tree nearby and real birds are chirping the exact same pitch of the traffic signal? It happened while I was there and I was like “Wait those are real birds!” Honestly, it’s a wonder theses machines didn’t kill anyone yet (that I know of at least). I think a seeing eye dog will do the trick better then these sounds. I’m not blind and I still can’t figure these signals out (Even I don’t walk around with a compass) – imagine a blind person!!

I hope you do not misinterpret me. I’m all for technology that will help people live better lives and I have nothing against the blind. As a matter of fact, I’m trying to help the blind because this thing is going to get them killed.

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