Saturday, October 8, 2016
Eight talking arrows, for safety's sake
The New York State Department of Transportation must be commended for installing loudspeakers in the button boxes of the eight pedestrian signals at Sunrise Highway and Washington Avenue, Seaford. Each emits softer beeps to help direct visually handicapped people to the button. When the large button is pressed, a loud speaker commands "Wait" and identifies which street one has requested to cross. When the visual walk signal appears (a white figure), the loudspeaker announces the street name ("Route 27" or "Washington Avenue" and declares "Walk sign is on the cross." Immediately, loud count-down beeps begin, which soften when the pedestrian signal reaches zero.
Because there are four corners and a walker may cross in two directions from each corner, there are a total of eight buttons at this intersection.
In my experience, in Seaford it is safer to cross Sunrise Highway (at signals maintained by the N.Y. D. of T.) than at the pedestrian signals along Merrick Road (maintained by Nassau County). For some reason, drivers have more flagrantly cut in front of me, a pedestrian, at the Merrick Road crosswalks than along Sunrise.