Resolution 2021-06 Regarding the Danger that Leading Pedestrian Intervals Present to Blind Pedestrians

Resolution: 2021-06

WHEREAS, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

“a leading pedestrian interval (LPI) gives pedestrians the opportunity to enter an intersection 3-7 seconds before vehicles are given a green indication. With this head start, pedestrians can better establish their presence in the crosswalk before vehicles have priority to turn left.”; and

WHEREAS, FHWA's Handbook for Designing Roadways for the Aging Population recommends the use of the leading pedestrian interval at intersections with high turning vehicle volumes; and

WHEREAS, some plans for city improvement have suggested leading pedestrian intervals as long as ten seconds; and

WHEREAS, successful blind travelers know not to start walking across an intersection until we hear the sound of traffic moving parallel to the direction in which we are traveling; and thus, when a leading pedestrian interval is in effect, a properly-trained traveler who happens to be blind would not start walking across the street until vehicles begin to move on the street which is parallel to the direction in which the pedestrian is walking; and

WHEREAS, as they are implemented today in Colorado, leading pedestrian intervals offer no nonvisual indication to the blind pedestrian that it is safe to cross an intersection during the three to ten second interval preceding the movement of traffic along the street parallel to the direction in which the pedestrian is walking, thus depriving blind pedestrians of the safety benefits which accrue to pedestrians who can see—not the least of which would be a few additional seconds to get across the street: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado in convention assembled this 31st day of October, 2021, in the city of Lone Tree, Colorado, that this organization call upon all municipalities, counties, and transportation authorities in the state of Colorado to discuss leading pedestrian intervals with the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado and other stakeholders within the disability community with the goal of implementing a nonvisually-accessible approach which affords blind pedestrians the same safety advantages of leading pedestrian intervals that are available to everyone else.