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NYC Unveils New System To Help Visually Impaired, Seniors Get Around Town

Walk/Don't Walk Sign (file / credit: clipart.com)

Walk/Don’t Walk Sign (file / credit: clipart.com)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - If you know someone who is visually impaired or elderly, they’ve probably told you that getting around New York City can be a challenge.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb On The Story

A new system unveiled Wednesday at West 23rd Street and 7th Avenue — considered one of the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians — by Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan should make things a lot safer for those individuals.

The system combines sounds, voice, and tactile sensation. First you listen for a beep to help you find a button on a pole. When you find it, you press it and if it’s unsafe to cross the street, a voice will say “wait.”

When it becomes safe to cross, a voice will say so. It’s even vibral-tactile — it will vibrate when it’s safe to cross.

“We are literally making sound investments in the safety for all New Yorkers with these audible pedestrian signals,” Sadik-Khan told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa.

Mike Godino is visually impaired, and says the new system lets “you know when you’re able to cross the street.”

1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa With More On How The System Works

“I can’t see across the street to see that little white walking man. He’s just, I can’t seem him. You know, I know he’s there,  but I can’t see him. These give us the same information.”

Of course you still have to take great personal care before venturing across a street.

How will this new system be received? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below…