What options do I have to improve safety and awareness for a blind resident who must cross a roundabout in my town?
First, consider reviewing the informational page on blind pedestrianaccess and crossing for modern roundabouts by the United States Access Board.
Secondly, NYS state law states that any intersection is a crossing andthat vehicles must yield to pedestrians. Motorist compliance following the installation signage, including stop and “Yield to Blind” signs, is better facilitated by crossing markings. The text from the pertinent sections of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law regarding intersections being considered crossings, and the obligation to yield to pedestrians is copied below.
Vehicle and Traffic;
§ 110. Crosswalk.
(a) That part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway between the curbs or, in the absence of curbs, between the edges of the traversable roadway.
(b) Any portion of a roadway at an intersection or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface.
Vehicle and Traffic
§ 1151. Pedestrians' right of way in crosswalks.
(a) When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk on the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, except that any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overpass has been provided shall yield the right of way to all vehicles.
(b) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and ;walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impractical for the driver to yield.
(c) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any othervehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.
Vehicle and Traffic
§ 1142. Vehicle entering stop or yield intersection.
(a) Except when directed to proceed by a police officer, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign shall stop as required by section eleven hundred seventy-two and after having stopped shall yield the right of way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from another highway or which is approaching so closely on said highway as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when such driver is moving across or within the intersection.
(b) The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall in obedience to such sign slow down to a speed reasonable for existing conditions, or shall stop if necessary as provided in section eleven hundred seventy-two, and shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian legally crossing the roadway on which he is driving, and to any vehiclein the intersection or approaching on another highway so loosely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time such driver is moving across or within the intersection. Provided, however, that if such driver is involved in a collision with a pedestrian in a crosswalk or a vehicle in the intersection after driving past a yield sign without stopping, such collision shall be deemed prima facie evidence of his failure to yield the right of way.
Finally, if an extra sign is needed to alert drivers of a blind person crossing the highway, the NYS Supplement to the MUTCD has the YIELD TO THE BLIND (NYR9-6) sign. It may be used where it is deemed necessary to remind motorists of the requirements of Section 1153 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law&(see text below.)
Vehicle and Traffic
§ 1153. Provisions relating to blind or visually impaired persons.
(a) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this article & every driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection or crosswalk shall yield the & right of way to a pedestrian crossing or attempting to cross the roadway when such pedestrian is accompanied by a guide dog or using a cane which is metallic or white in color or white with a red tip.
(b) No person, unless blind or visually impaired, shall use on any street or highway a cane which is metallic or white in color or white with a red tip.
(c)This section shall not be construed as making obligatory the employment of the use of a guide dog or of a cane or walking stick of any kind by a person blind or visually impaired.
- United States Accessibility Board “Crossing at Roundabouts” Webpage
- CLRP Workshop Manual Traffic Signs and Pavement Markings
- CLRP Publication Traffic Sign Handbook for Local Roads, 2017 NYS Edition