MARCO ISLAND — Visually impaired or blind residents in Marco Island could possibly benefit from improved traffic signals that audibly tell them how many seconds they have to cross an intersection.
Residents Jennifer Griffin and her fiancé Vincent Castellano, who is legally blind, addressed council members on Monday, asking them to consider installing audible traffic lights in the city.
Noting that Collier County has two audible traffic lights, Griffin told council members that “it’s important for this kind of issue to be addressed although it may not have been addressed before.”
Griffin says her fiancé has difficulties walking to pick up his prescriptions from a local drug store.
“It can be difficult to travel in the sunshine,” she noted. “It can be difficult to see the signal and it doesn’t count out loud. How do you know how many seconds you have to cross that intersection?”
Collier County’s traffic signals were in compliance with state and federal mandates when they were installed, however, upgrades are possible.
Griffin and Castellano said the improvements would go a long way in helping people who are blind or visually impaired have a greater sense of independence.
Although upgrading every city intersection would be cost-prohibitive, council members agreed to discuss making select improvements at targeted traffic lights during upcoming budget talks, which will be held this summer.