Help for the Blind, Confusion for Everyone ElseBy Roberts, Sam; New York Times,
Publication Date: March 3, 2010
Article features street corner audio signal boxes assisting blind and visually impaired pedestrians in New York City. The dozen signal boxes, which have been installed since 2006 at intersections near institutions that serve the blind, are a bright yellow, have a blinking red light, and emit a constant beeping sound to guide visually impaired pedestrians to their location. A large button on the box includes an arrow pointing in the direction the street is to be crossed; when the button is pressed and the traffic light is green, a voice announces, “Walk sign is on to cross,” and identifies the name of the street, whereas when the light is red, the voice says, “Wait.” While a spokesperson for Lighthouse International is quoted as saying visually impaired people find the signals quite helpful, sighted pedestrians reportedly are confused by the signal boxes, as they resemble too closely the more than two thousand street-corner buttons throughout the city that used to control traffic signals but which have been disconnected after those signals were computerized.
Published by: New York Times Company (Website:http://www.nytco.com)
Link to text: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/03/help-for-the-blind-confusion-for-everyone-else/