Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

New York City is Becoming More Accessible

by Jaime Rodriguez, RDPFS Intern

In late December a federal judge ordered New York City officials to put in place more than 9,000 accessible pedestrian crossing signals at intersections throughout the city. The case, filed in 2018, accused the city’s Department of Transportation and former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to install accessible pedestrian signals at city intersections. Since 1957 when the first accessible pedestrian signal was introduced, implementation of the technology at other crossings has been slow, with fewer than 1,000 devices installed citywide. Judge Paul A. Engelmayer, who made the ruling, stated that the lack of accessible crossings has impeded the independence of people who are blind or visually impaired, making it difficult to cross city streets safely in a well-timed manner. Although no set timeline has been given for the implementation of new accessible pedestrian signals across the city, there is hope that within the next decade, the city will be more accessible to everyone and that people who are blind and visually impaired who live in or visit New York City will be able to travel more independently and safely. Read the details in The New York Times article:  Why New York City May Soon Be More Walkable for Blind People.