Visually-impaired pedestrians who use Albert Einstein College of Medicine will soon find it easier to cross Morris Park Avenue near the hospital because of the installation of the borough’s first audible pedestrian traffic signal.
The device, placed on a crosswalk in front of 1300 Morris Park Avenue near Eastchester Road, emits a distinctive chirping sound when the pedestrians have the walk signal, allowing those who are visually impaired and the elderly a better understanding of how long they have to cross the street.
NYC Department of Transportation Bronx commissioner Constance Moran and Councilman Jimmy Vacca joined visually impaired West Farms resident Averill Clayton in celebrating the installation of the new traffic signal on Friday, January 20.
“Those who are visually impaired need help navigating crosswalks and the New York City Department of Transportation has now begun to look at locations that visually impaired people frequent to see how the city can help them with audible traffic pedestrian traffic signals,” Vacca said. “This crosswalk and traffic light has an audible aspect that the visually impaired person can hear and that is really invaluable for them when they try to cross the street.”
Having the first audible pedestrian signal in the borough in front of a hospital is ideal, Vacca said.
As chairman of the City Council’s Transportation Committee, Vacca said that he hopes that in the coming months and years more audible pedestrian traffic signals will be installed through the borough.
The city DOT is currently looking for locations in the borough where other audible pedestrian traffic signals could be placed, and is open to suggestions, Moran stated. Most would be located in busy areas like Morris Park Avenue near Einstein, Moran stated.
Beginning in September, the city Department of Transportation began installing the signals at locations around the city.
Vacca walked Clayton across Morris Park Avenue and back, while speaking about the signal crosswalk’s audible features.
The beeping signal means independence to her visually impaired people like her, Clayton stated.
“This is very powerful,” Clayton stated. “I would like the audible traffic signals to be placed all over. I travel a lot in the Bronx and the city.”
The new signals preserve a level of independence for Clayton because she often has to rely on strangers for help crossing the street, she said.
Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (718) 742-3393