NORWOOD, Ohio — Terry Davis’ blindness means he couldn’t identify the driver who hit him while he crossed the Montgomery Road with the right-of-way in 2017. He couldn’t give a description of the car.
On his several weekly walks to shopping center Surrey Square, he relies on his seeing-eye dog, Giselle, and the attentiveness of drivers to ensure it won’t happen again.
“It did frighten me a little bit, and it got me to the point where, ‘I can’t use a cane to get across the street?’” Davis said Monday night. “It took me a while to get back out there.”
There’s another tool he believes could help people like him: Audio cues at pedestrian crossings. Many crossings beep, click or have automated voices indicating a safe time to cross, but many others don’t. At those, he’s forced to listen for the difference between parallel and perpendicular traffic.
As he gets older, it’s a less precise judgment.
“If you go at the wrong time and then somebody comes flying down the street, it’s a possibility that you can get hit,” he said. “I’ve had enough of it. I’m not getting younger, and it’s hard for me to hear traffic.”
The hit-and-run happened at the intersection of Sherman and Montgomery — one without any audio cues to help him and other people with impaired vision.
Davis said he’s petitioned the city of Norwood to add them, but city leaders have refused.
“They keep coming back saying (it’s) their fiscal situation,” he said. “They don’t have the funds to fix it.”
The city of Norwood’s safety service director did not immediately return a request for comment.
So he’s appealing to people who might be able to make a change in the short term: Drivers, who he hopes will hear his story and take an extra moment to consider pedestrians with impaired vision or hearing.
“I don’t want this just for the blind. It’s for the seniors that live in our area, those that would have a problem crossing those intersections,” he said. “Be careful, you know? Slow down at intersections and let’s make it safe for everybody.”