[tabi] Re: Bringing all the issues together

  • From: "Allison and Chip Orange" <acorange@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 8 Nov 2009 17:22:16 -0500

Thank you Erica, and don't worry about my toes, they are fine!!!

I would like to mention, that your points 3, 4, and 6  are quite true, and
good points, but StarMetro may argue that drivers will learn; law
enforcement will change.  in my opinion, this doesn't help the problem much;
the problem of many mobility impaired and blind, who lack adequate skills in
crossing large busy intersections.  we will have a never-ending supply of
such people, as more people lose their eye-sight.  and audible signals are a
help, but not a panacea, as they cannot take into consideration such
unpredictable events as right turns on red, which may be the single largest
source of danger.

Therefore, I believe it's fair to say, and O&M instructors should certainly
be consulted for their opinions on this, that it simply cannot be said to be
safe for a blind person to cross a large busy intersection, especially when
it allows right turns on red.  there is nothing that can be done to the
intersection or the drivers that will improve matters, and I'm concerned
that the phrasing of your points 3, 4, and 6 may imply that there is.  and
now, StarMetro is proposing 41 such danger zones be made part of our daily

therefore, I think a 7th point is in order: "Many disabled individuals will
never attain independent travel skills to allow them to cross large busy
intersections safely, nor will the physical impairments of some ever allow
for it.  We therefore need the ability to transfer without crossing through
dangerous intersections or parking lots."

Another point I'd like to see added: many blind individuals have had quite a
lot of time invested with them, by O&M instructors, who have helped them
learn their way to the bus stops they need to use.  now, due to Nova 2010,
all bus stops are moving, and these people will all need such assistance
and/or training again; all at once.  this isn't going to be possible,
especially when you consider many cases have since closed, and so there's no
easy way to get such training paid for, nor do we have adequate instructor

therefore, we need ways to make it easier to locate bus stops both from
quite a distance out, and when very close.  I understand tactile bumps on
the sidewalks have been proposed, and they are certainly helpful; but I
believe we need more assistance.  this would include lit bus stops to aid
those with low vision, and possibly a technical aid such as the "SoundPost"
or other location system, designed to guide blind individuals towards the
bus stop.

 thank you again, and Kevin, for your work in communicating these points to
everyone involved.


-----Original Message-----
From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of ericamccaul@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Sunday, November 08, 2009 3:49 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: Bringing all the issues together

Here is a starting list pursuant to Kevin's request:

Nova 2010 Pros:
1. More frequent buses.
2. Lengthened hours of operation on Sundays. (This also mandates lengthened
hours of Dial-a-Ride service on Sundays.) 3. Minimal difference between
daytime and night/Sunday coverage.
4. Some people get a considerably more direct route to their primary

Nova 2010 Cons*:
1. Increased walking distances to/from points of origin/destination and bus
2. Many of these walking routes are along major roadways with inadequate,
incomplete, or no sidewalks.
3. Transferring buses may require crossing one or both multi-lane
thoroughfares at major intersection heretofore unaccustomed, due to their
heavy traffic flow, to pedestrians.
4. Tallahassee is NOT a pedestrian-friendly city. Drivers lack consequences
for law-breaking.
5. Some people will have to transfer more than once to reach their
destination (or will have to transfer once, where before they had a direct
route). Walking further and waiting on connections will offset the
time-saving benefit of higher bus frequencies.
6. The goodwill alone of StarMetro, Public Works, TPD and/or other City
entities in no way guarantees public safety.
Grants are wonderful... ONCE RECEIVED AND IMPLEMENTED, but provide no
protection before then.

* It should be noted that the Cons cannot be completely assessed by many
riders or potential riders because the route descriptions provided to date
do not reference where bus routes cross. Therefore, riders may not have an
understanding of how they would get from point A to point B, and which
intersection crossings would be required.

IN SUMMARY: Many on TABI who have voiced their opinions seem to be open to
the concept of a grid-type system. However, a nearly universal, overwhelming
concern seems to be the desire of StarMetro to barrel ahead with this plan
before travel routes to, from and between buses are as safe as possible. If
there's no money for sidewalks, audible signals and the like, then the
project should be postponed. Nova 2010 should not be implemented until the
safety improvements are complete at all transfer points.

-----Original Message-----
From: daviska9 <daviska9@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Sun, Nov 8, 2009 1:09 pm
Subject: [tabi] Bringing all the issues together

Good Afternoon All,

   I have been monitoring the
discussions for and against NOVA 2010, first through Laurie, and now I have
joined TABI.  I wonder if some of you would be willing to help me get all of
the points, both pro and con, put together in one posting.  I will then
forward that to the Transportation Advisory Committee(TAC), of which I am a
part.  The TAC is very interested in the safety issues involved, and have
been reviewing these even before NOVA 2010 was presented to us.

   We are a part of the city
commission, and not a part of StarMetro.  We are due to make a
recommendation one way or the other to the commission after the first of the
year, and I want to make sure all of the information that can be is put on
the table.

I may not be perfect,
but I am trying to be neutral and represent the interests if the visually
impaired on the TAC. 

You should know
that the new system provides Laurie and I with some VERY positive benefits.
That interest is only one piece that I present to the TAC. If you are
willing, a consolidated list of your views would be very helpful to me.  Let
me know what you think. 

There is a little
known ?be attitude?  Blessed be the flexible, for they will bend and not


Hope to hear from
you all soon

Kevin Davis


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