August 11, 2016 - 6:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - If you hear it, you can cross.
Columbia Street has two new audible pedestrian signals; at the intersection with 3 Avenue and the intersection with 6 Avenue. The signals will allow greater independence for visually impaired residents to move about the city, an important part of daily life for Todd Harding, retired Chair of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities.
“Audible traffic signals play a huge role in safe, independent travel for blind and visually-impaired people,” he says in a press release. “The sense of safety and confidence that one gets when you know the light is in your favour is really hard to describe.”
The two new signals were part of the 2015 Columbia Street windening project. As part of the project two signals were previously activated at the intersections of Columbia Street and 4 Avenue and Columbia Street and 5 Avenue.
The signals at 3 Avenue and 6 Avenue were added around the same time, but activation was delayed to address safety concerns. City transportation engineer Liam Baker says local groups representing people with disabilities helped the city assess the safety of the intersections .
“We really have a really good working relationship with the groups,” he says.
The signals cost the city around $8,000 to $10,000 per intersection, Baker says.
“I believe we have 23 intersections that are equipped with audible signals now,” he says. “One or two are added each year.”
For more on accesibility in Kamloops, click here.
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