Group Shares Concerns about Pedestrian Safety at Roundabouts
Passle Helminski and her service dog are familiar with the roundabout on the Millcreek-Fairview Township line.
"I walk this every single day," said Helminski.
Even with flashing lights and voice signals, it can be dangerous trek. Helminski is visually impaired.
"This is a very slow time, but I go usually early in the morning rush hour traffic," said Helminski. "It's a challenge for people to slow down and stop for pedestrians in the walkway."
Helminski is part of the Erie chapter of the National Federation of the Blind.
The group is advocating for PennDOT to make these traffic circles safer.
"People, when they're in a roundabout, they're always looking left, and they're not looking for people crossing," said Helminski.
It's not just this roundabout. They are also concerned about the proposed roundabout on the Bayfront Parkway in the City of Erie, which they said will impact many more visually impaired residents.
"Some of us have dogs," said Steve Tuszymski, of National Federation of the Blind. "They're excellent, and they're a great asset to have. Some of us use the cane, but nothing's gonna stop a vehicle."
The group said while PennDOT has been responsive to hearing their concerns, they want action and extra protections at roundabouts.
"100 percent pedestrian crossing where you push a button and an arm comes down that you can cross if you're blind, deaf, wheelchair - just to give you adequate time to cross the street, and [so] you wont be hit," said Tuszymski.
For now, Helminski will continue to rely on her dog and trust that drivers will press on the brake.
Information on PennDOT projects and roundabouts is available here.