Talking Traffic Signals Coming Soon

By Carla Garrett
March 19, 2011

WOODSTOCK— Crossing busy intersections in the city are about to get easier for the visually impaired.

Starting this year, two main intersections will be retrofitted with audible pedestrian signals.

A beep or tone will indicate to visually impaired persons when it is safe to cross.

Such signals have already been in use in other municipalities in Southwestern Ontario, including intersections in downtown Ingersoll.

The local accessibility committee requested the installation at five predetermined locations across the city.

At a cost of about $20,000 each, the city has opted for two locations to be included in this year’s budget.

The first on the list will be traffic signals along the Wellington Street corridor between Peel and Princess streets.

“These two stoplights are scheduled for reconstruction work in this calendar year and staff felt the request from the accessibility advisory committee was
very timely,” said Mayor Pat Sobeski.

CAO David Creery added they could potentially reduce the cost of the audible signals by incorporating them into the existing signal work projects as recommended in the city transportation master plan.

The other location would be the pedestrian crossing on Dundas Street at Museum Square.

“As the new art gallery will be opening in the near future, the installation of an APS at this location may be favourable …” staff wrote in its report to
council.

Currently, the preliminary 2011 budget includes funds to have the signal installed at that location this year.

Some larger communities are now making the signals the standard for all pedestrian crossings.

Two other intersections identified by the committee are under county jurisdiction. The city has sent a request for financial consideration of audible signals at the traffic lights at Norwich and Parkinson and Norwich and Juliana.

Article ID# 3035352

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