Archive for Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Help at the crosswalk

File photo. Shawnee City Hall is located at 11110 Johnson Drive.

File photo. Shawnee City Hall is located at 11110 Johnson Drive.

June 8, 2011

At the request of a visually impaired resident, Shawnee has installed its first audible and tactile crosswalk push-button.

The crosswalk on the east side of 75th Street and Nieman Road now beeps on each corner to help blind pedestrians locate the push-button to cross 75th Street. When the button is pressed a voice says “Wait” until the signal is ready to accommodate the crossing request, at which time the button vibrates and says “Cross 75th Street.”

The special push-button is not something the city currently plans to install more of, traffic engineer Mark Sherfy said. He said the new button, installed on May 26, cost $1,250 where a normal push-button costs about $100.

Sherfy said the resident who requested the button frequents that intersection.

“We wouldn’t have put it in if somebody didn’t need it,” Sherfy said. “It’s an expensive thing, but it’s a good thing.”

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