You have probably seen tactile paving before. These are a few brightly coloured (typically yellow or red) tiles that can be found on sidewalks, subways, tram and bus stops, and various other public spaces. These tiles, which are marked with certain bumps and ridges, would be set at any location that claims to be only accessible to those with visual impairment.
Those who are not blind, on the other hand, are rarely aware of the importance of these tiles. The majority of people believe that such tactile tiles are just used for decoration! The fact is that such tiles are used by visually challenged people asa navigational aid by offering tactile solutions.
These tiles are used to improve a location’s accessibility. Although these tiles may not seem important to most people, they play a crucial role in the lives of blind people.
The following are a few of the examples of tactile paving solutions:
- Blister paving
Seiichi Miyake, a Japanese designer, was the first to invent tactile paving in 1965. Thanks to Japan, it swiftly expanded over the world! It has evolved to the point where there are a variety of different styles of paving to signify various warnings.
For pedestrian crossings, blister paving is employed. This surface serves as a visual cue to those with vision impairments that they are now approaching a certain road crossing. Any surface, which is made up of rows of flat-topped square pattern blisters, is an important safety element.
- Offset blister paving
Blister paving will be used on railway, tram, and also tube platforms to alert visually challenged passengers to the platform’s edge. Flat-topped domes (blisters) are spaced 66.5mm distance from the centre of one particular dome to the centre of the next on the offset type of blister tactile surface.
This paving can usually be made out of any appropriate paving material and of any suitable colour that contrasts well with the surrounding environment.
- Corduroy paving
A corduroy tactile paving is made up of circular bars that run the length of the pedestrian’s path. The bars can be 20mm broad and 6mm tall. This form of surface alerts those who are blind or visually impaired to the existence of a certain specific hazard.
The top/bottom of a flight of steps, any level crossing, or any ramp could all be examples. It is also used when a shared route meets a footpath. The concept is that it draws attention to potential danger.
This surface can be made in any type of colour to offer better contrast with the entire surrounding region once again.
So, you now know what the different sorts of tactile tiles signify. Different sorts of such tiles can be paired to create a tactile trail for the blind as well as partially sighted people that is simply and independently accessible.
The next time when you see these rough tiles, remember that they have a very vital function. The tactile surface greatly aids blind and also partially sighted people in navigating their surroundings.