Description of video clip from
Intersection Design and Street-Crossing Strategies for Blind Pedestrians:
Then and Now

Dona Sauerburger, M.A., COMS
Orientation and Mobility Specialist

This video clip opens with silently showing the title page with the information listed above.

When Dona says, "Using traditional orientation and mobility techniques . . . etc." we see a very busy intersection of two 7-lane streets. The camera then zooms in to a woman with a cane on the corner across the street, as she steps forward to cross one street (the other street is to her left). She hesitates while cars from the street beside her turn in front of her, and when one of the cars waits for her, she proceeds forward to cross the street and reach the other side. As the narration continues, we see her turned around to return across the same street again, walking in front of two other pedestrians. When she finishes her crossing, she turns right to get ready to cross the other street. When Dona says, ". . . start to cross the INSTANT that they hear the surge of traffic moving in the parallel street," the woman starts to cross the street toward us.

When Dona says, "Here is Kevin, who is totally blind . . . " the scene has changed to another intersection with one street 7 lanes wide (MLK Highway) and the other street 3 or 4 lanes wide. Kevin is a young African-American man wearing a coat with a hood and gloves. He is walking toward MLK Highway with the narrower street on his left, and he starts to search for the pole that has the pedestrian button. After searching for about 10 seconds, he finds it, takes off his glove and pushes the button, puts his glove back on and walks toward the curb ramp.

When he reaches the ramp, he searches for the grass to his left and lines up to cross MLK Highway. While he is doing this, the traffic on the street beside him moves forward. When the traffic on MLK Highway starts to move again, he turns around to go find the button and push it again.

Just after he returns to the curb and grass and has lined up, a car from the street beside him turns right. He continues to wait. Then the line of cars on the street beside him starts to move forward, and Kevin starts to cross just as the third car enters the intersection. By the time he reaches the middle of MLK Highway, he has veered about a foot to the left of the crosswalk, but when he hears the cars waiting on the other side, he moves toward them and completes the crossing about 3 feet to the right of the crosswalk.

Once on the other side of MLK Highway, he looks for the pole that has the pedestrian button to cross back. He finds two poles but neither of them have the button on it. A man gets out of his car to help, and he tells Kevin where the pole is. Kevin finds it and pushes the button, then lines up to cross back (with the parallel street on his right).

There is only one car in the street beside him, and when it pulls forward Kevin starts to cross. By the time he reaches the middle, he is about 6 feet to the right of the crosswalk. When he gets to the others side, he passes the corner and continues to walk about 10 feet before he turns left to get out of the parallel street and find the curb.

When Dona says, "As you can see, to cross . . . " Kevin is at another intersection on MLK Highway. The side street is only two lanes wide and there is no traffic on it. He finds and pushes the button, but when the light changes to green for him, there is no traffic on the street beside him so he doesn't hear any surge to let him know his light is green. The video fades to black.
[NOTE: Although he can hear the traffic on MLK Highway stop, the video continues after this clip to give examples of why the sound of traffic stopping on one street is not sufficient to know that the light has changed.]

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