Columbia Seeks Input on Audible Pedestrian Signals

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COLUMBIA -  The intersection of College Avenue and East Broadway could get new audible pedestrian signals by the end of 2014. Columbia Public Works planned a meeting for Wednesday to get public input.

Columbia Public Works Public Information Specialist Steven Sapp said the signals would be helpful to people who have visual disabilities. The signals would have a button that makes a sound so people with visual impairments can locate the button. Once the button is pushed, the signal will make sounds to indicate when it is safe for the individual to cross.

Sapp said the signals at Broadway and College would be the first of their kind in Columbia. If the signals get approved and installed, Sapp said the city would evaluate them and talk about putting them at other intersections.

Adam Kunce is the staff liaison for the Columbia Disabilities Commission and he said the commission set aside $40,000 to go to the signals and submitted the idea to Columbia Public Works. Sapp said the signals at College and Broadway would cost $70,000 and the money not received from the commission has to come from other places in Columbia Public Works.

Sapp said he wants as much public opinion as possible before the official submission goes to get approved by the city council.