[bct] Re: street crossings

  • From: "Jamie Pauls" <jamiepauls@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 4 Nov 2005 10:40:22 -0600

Wow! My head is spinning! Thanks for that great post. Maybe I should try
rereading it at a slower rate. Whew! 

-----Original Message-----
From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Buddy Brannan
Sent: Friday, November 04, 2005 10:31 AM
To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bct] Re: street crossings

Hi Jamie,

Even when I lived in "the big city" (and it was, too--they don't get a lot
bigger than Dallas. Austin before that.), I probably about nine times out of
10 would also wait a full cycle. It's good sense: you don't know how long
you've had the light, and if it changes on you in the middle, well now, that
could be a small problem. However, I've also crossed when the light had just
changed and I happened to notice that a few feet before I reached the
corner. Of course, sometimes you can fudge this a little when you know the
intersection, but then again, sometimes when you do that, you end up in
trouble. It's one of those calculated risk things.

As for audible signals: I definitely don't want them at *every* corner.
While I think that generally, they're sort of a band-aid fix to a more
pervasive, underlying problem (i.e. traffic patterns unfriendly to *all*
pedestrians), I'm not under any delusion that traffic engineers will
suddenly start taking all pedestrians' needs into account when designing
traffic flow, nice as that might be. So, there are certainly instances where
an audible signal would be helpful, and in those, they should be had (which,
BTW, is the NFB official stance as well). However, I'd submit they should be
of the modern variety, and not the loud cuckoo tweet tweet variety, and most
of your standard plus-sign type intersections shouldn't need them, although
I've noticed that they're at these kinds of intersections-- especially the
older kind. (I think it's safe to say that the ones in Harrisburg, PA are
excessive: they're at relatively easy intersections, and you can hear them
through a closed car window.)

Anyhow, the more modern audible signals are pretty nice, and I have a lot
fewer objections to them than the older ones most of us have seen and are
used to. Newer audible signals have an audible tick that tells one where the
pole is (very handy, and fairly inobtrusive); their volume adjustss
automagically to the level of ambiant sound (i.e. they turn themselves down
when there's less traffic and noise); and they seem clearer on which signal
means to cross where (sometimes giving spoken feedback about which street
has the light).

On the flip side, I have a friend in Burlington, VT who tried out their
audible signals. The bad news is that the audible signal was not properly
callibrated to the visual one, and so, being out of sync, put him in the
street in the middle of a light change. Not a good situation. Naturally, I
think we can agree that an audible signal is only useful if it's properly
callibrated and maintained; unfortunately, I guess that this isn't always
the case.

Buddy Brannan, KB5ELV       | Work from home the Watkins way!
Email: buddy@xxxxxxxxxxxx   | Your phone and computer can really pay!
888-75-BUDDY (888-752-8339) | More info at http://www.tastybiz.com
AIM/Skype/Yahoo: kb5elv     | ***See my online newsletter***
MSN: kb5elv@xxxxxxxxxxx     | http://assist.21publish.com/brannan
Google: bbrannan@xxxxxxxxx  | Personal: http://buddy.brannan.name

Other related posts: