FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #06-04
Contact: Kay Sarlin (212) 442-7033 Chris Gilbride
City Unveils State of the Art Pedestrian Signal for Visually Impaired Staten Islanders
New York City Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall and Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro today unveiled a new Accessible Pedestrian Signal (APS) on the corner of Castleton and Brighton Avenues in Staten Island. The new signal uses the latest in APS technology and can be programmed to play audible messages informing visually impaired users when the "walk" message is displayed for the specific street they are waiting to cross. It also features a ticking pushbutton, allowing users to easily locate and activate the signal's controls. Earlier versions used "cuckoo" and "peep" sounds to tell users which crossing had the right of way. Prior to that a simple buzzer sound was used to let users know when the "walk" message was displayed.
"Talking signals are the wave of the future," said Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall. "They offer visually impaired residents an extra sense of security as they navigate our City streets and I'm excited to be here today with Borough President Molinaro to celebrate this milestone."
"I am very pleased that the Borough President's Advisory Committee was able to help facilitate the installation of this signal, which will further open up the world for our disabled citizens to enjoy," said Borough President James P. Molinaro. "I would like to thank Commissioner Weinshall for giving all Staten Islanders the opportunity to travel around our Borough safely."
The signal is the first APS or 'talking' signal on Staten Island and was installed at the request of the Staten Island Center for Independent Living, Inc. (SICIL) through the Borough President's Advisory Committee for the Disabled at a cost of roughly $500. The SICIL serves more than 2,400 people with disabilities, including 200 visually impaired individuals.
The first audible pedestrian signals were installed at two Queens intersections in 1957: at Woodhaven Boulevard and Booth Street and at Woodhaven Boulevard and the westbound entrance to the Long Island Expressway. Individuals can request a new Accessible Pedestrian Signal, or call 311.
Audible and Accessible Pedestrian Signals
- College Point Blvd and 31st Avenue - Queens
- Hillside Avenue and 256th Street - Queens
- Little Neck Parkway and 86th Avenue - Queens
- Church and McDonald Avenues - Brooklyn
- 14th Avenue and 36th Street - Brooklyn
- Church and Dahill Avenues - Brooklyn
- Brielle Avenue and Gansevoort Boulevard - Staten Island
- Avenue of Americas at23rd Street - Manhattan
- Park Avenue and East 59th Street - Manhattan
- Lexington Avenue and East 59th Street - Manhattan
- Castleton Avenue at Brighton Avenue - Staten Island