Tehachapi city staff and CalTrans officials are working together on possible installation of an audible traffic signal at the corner of Tucker Road and Valley Boulevard.
Greg Garrett, the city manager, reported at the Nov. 4 City Council meeting that City Engineer Jay Schlosser received a response from CalTrans to the city's request for the installation of the signal. Since that corner is under the jurisdiction of CalTrans, the addition of the audible signal is the state agency's responsibility.
The letter from CalTrans Access Specialist Dina Rodriguez informed the city of an investigation into the request, which could take up to 30 days.
The movement to add the signal was instigated when Bob Kapler, who said he has been blind all his life and is new to town, approached the City Council at its Sept. 16 meeting.
"I live by the apartments over by SaveMart, and the corner down there is a challenge," Kapler said. "They tell me it's one of the busiest corners in town. So I'm hoping maybe you can see if you can do something about fixing that light like the one over in town that will let you know when it turns green."
Kapler said he has a difficult time crossing the street, because by the time he has figured out that it is safe to cross, he has lost five to 10 seconds of crossing time.
"Even most sighted people tell me it's hard to get across if you start right away," he said.
In answer to a question by Mayor Phil Smith, Kapler said he uses a cane when out and about.
"It would be good to remind folks that there are individuals who do use the white cane and to remember their [Department of Motor Vehicles] question, what that means when you see someone with that cane, that they need extra time to cross the street," the mayor said at the September meeting.