Council passes traffic signal bill for the visually impaired

More than 300,000 visually impaired pedestrians live in the city.

There could be more audible crosswalk signals to aid the more than 300,000 visually impaired pedestrians in the city under a City Council bill that passed Tuesday.

“For them to cross the streets is a treacherous affair,” said Councilman Mark Levine, the bill’s sponsor.

The city Department of Transportation would be required to install 75 of these crosswalks a year, up from the current 25.. That would cost the city nearly $2 million a year for the extra signals.

The bill still needs to be signed by the mayor.

Levine said the DOT would be putting in audible crosswalk signs when a new signal has to be installed.

“We know they have the capacity,” Levine said. “This is entirely doable.”

Each audible signal costs an average of $35,000 each, depending on the intersection, according to the DOT. There are audible crosswalk signals in 99 locations, with 28 locations added in the past 12 months from Nov, 1, according to the DOT.