To add more Accessible Pedestrian Signals in New York City for the visually impaired.
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New York City is a melting pot for all types of people around the world. With a population of 8.5 million, it is an extremely busy and densely populated area. Out of these 8.5 million people, roughly 400,000 are blind or have some degree of visual impairment. This is a very large number for a city compared to the 600 million visually impaired people in the world. As technology advanced in our city, automobiles became more frequent on the roads, making a commute on foot more dangerous for the blind population. Transportation for the visually impaired became especially difficult, and technology to aid them was scarce. However, as this issue was brought to light, there were some attempts to create devices to help the blind with transportation. One of the most revolutionary devices invented were Accessible Pedestrian Signals, or APS. These signals are devices that provide information about the “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” intervals at intersections in non-visual mechanisms. Unfortunately, in many cases the implementation of these devices has been very weak . There aren’t enough APS units, especially in a city with such a large visually impaired population, and current APS don’t have enough features or are worn out. In addition, in the streets of New York City, the audio indications provided by the unit are not loud enough to be properly heard. Lastly, there have been cases when APS are not correctly aligned with the road, thus delivering unclear traffic cues to visually impaired pedestrians.
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