WHEREAS, for over ten years, the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota has worked with city, county, and state transportation officials to develop standards for the installation of accessible pedestrian signals (APS), requiring that they be installed only in those intersections which are difficult or potentially hazardous for blind persons to navigate because of their complexity, unusual shape, or degree of computer control; and
WHEREAS, the City of Minneapolis has abided by those standards, but the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT), other cities, and the county jurisdictions have opted instead to follow the "best practices" guidelines issued by the federal Public Right of Way Access Committee, even though they are only guidelines, not regulations; and
WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota has testified orally and in written comment against the plans adopted by MNDOT, and earlier this year, by Hennepin county, with no apparent effect; and
WHEREAS, it has come to the attention of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota that APS are being installed at a rapid rate in newly constructed or updated intersections throughout the state, including many locations where blind persons are extremely unlikely to travel; and
WHEREAS, it is our opinion that the wholesale installation of APS at every intersection is a waste of federal, state, county, and city money at the same time that those bodies are facing budget shortfalls and cutting necessary services which really can benefit blind people; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota in convention assembled this 9th day of October, 2011, in the city of Bloomington, Minnesota, that we condemn and deplore the wholesale installation of APS at new and updated intersections, and call upon MNDOT, counties, and cities that are doing so to cease this wholesale waste of public money, and work with the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota to develop more reasonable guidelines for APS installation; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota will distribute this resolution to the members of the Minnesota Congressional Delegation, Governor, MNDOT Commissioner, and county and city officials, and call the attention of the media to this blatant example of government waste.