SF State News {University Communications}

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Bus travelers listen for the sound of crickets

July 23, 2008 -- Pedestrians at 19th and Holloway avenues may notice a new addition to their surroundings as they wait for the bus -- the sound of crickets chirping. It's the latest installment in the Sound Web, SF State's network of audible cues that help users, particularly those with visual impairments, navigate the 141-acre campus.

A photo of passengers boarding a bus at 19th and Holloway avenues at San Francisco State with the new Sound Web mounted on the roof of the bus shelter.

The newest Sound Web installation (top right) emits the sound of crickets chirping near the MUNI bus stop at 19th and Holloway avenues.

New devices have been installed at the public transportation stop at the corner of 19th and Holloway avenues and at the SF State shuttle stop on 19th Avenue, totaling 11 Sound Web locations on campus. These solar-powered electronic playback devices emit sounds 24 hours a day, distinguishing different campus landmarks: bird calls at campus entrances, wind chimes at pathway intersections, percussion at student facilities and now cricket chirps at public transportation waiting areas.

"It's a pleasant greeting for some and a way finder for others," said Phil Evans, director of campus grounds, who has collaborated with engineering and design students, the Disability Programs and Resource Center and faculty in the Orientation and Mobility program to develop the Sound Web project during the last two years.

Listen to the sound of crickets used in the new Sound Web at 19th and Holloway avenues. (MP3 format requires Quicktime or Real Player).

-- Elaine Bible


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