City Needs to Help Blind Navigate Intersections, Group Says

Each intersection should be outfitted with audible signals to help the blind navigate pedestrian cross-walks, a City Council committee is proposing.

The transportation committee presented a series of bills at a hearing Wednesday morning with the goal of improving safety for New York’s visually impaired pedestrians.

"Many blind people are governed by a noise from a car,” said Councilman James Vacca, who chairs the committee. “When they hear a car coming they know to slow down and to wait."

Another bill introduced by the committee would require the city Department of Transportation to install warning surfaces to indicate where a pedestrian plaza ends and the street begins, Vacca said.

The transportation committee is expected to vote on the new safety measures in two weeks. City Council will take up the bills in February or March.

It was unclear how the new safety measures would be funded if approved.