We know that our world has more than 285 million people with partial blindness or visually impaired. Tactile pavers are issuing touch & visual warnings for blinds and visual-impaired people. World of Stones USA is going to give you meaning, uses, facts, and various properties behind the use of tactile pavers or following tactile paving patterns & standards. Let’s learn it today.

What Is Tactile Paving?

As Wikipedia stated, “Tactile Paving is a system of textured paving surfaces to assist pedestrians who are visually impaired.” 

Now, the question is how tactile pavers help visually impaired or partially-sighted people.

The partially-sighted person cannot see the difference of levels if it occurs at a subtle level or deep level in many cases. However, they often can recognize ultra-bright or highly contrasting colors and minor bumps on the walking surfaces like grooves and domes. 

Thereby, tactile pavers have bright yellow or red colors as standard colors everywhere across the globe and bumpy surfaces in set patterns. The soles of feet of pedestrians or wheelchairs can detect those bumps and their patterns easily and differentiate messages/signs behind it.

Where Tactile Paving Originated?

It was Seiichi Miyake in 1965 who first introduced tactile pavers in a street of Okayama city, Japan. Later on, Japan has adopted it in various public places and showed the entire world how it is useful in real-life.

We sighted people hardly know the significance of tactile tiles or pavers in our life but visually impaired have a sense of it. Tactile paving makes their life easy while walking in public places like the subway, metro, and underground. 

So, it makes it attractive to know something more about tactile pavers. 

Let’s begin it by learning about different types of tactile patterns used across the globe as standards.

Type of Tactile Patterns

Blister Tactile Paving:

What Is Blister Paving Pattern?

Blister Paving Pattern

It is a design of tiles with embossed flat-topped blisters (swellings) in a square pattern.

What Is It Indicate?

It indicates that there is a road crossing ahead.

Application Areas:

When the height difference is less than 25mm, a vision-impaired person finds it difficult to differentiate the difference. It mostly occurs where footway ends and carriageway begins. 

At a pedestrian crossing point, the installation of blister pavers helps vision-impaired people and wheelchair users to detect and safely pass the crossing with the help of their smart stick, and without the aid of another human being.

Offset Blister Tactile Paving:

What Is Offset Blister Paving Pattern?

The name offset blister paving originated from “platform edge (off-street) warning surface.”

Offset Blister Paving Pattern

The surface of the offset blister tactile pavers contains blisters (flat-topped domes) spaced 65.5mm from center-to-center (from one center of a dome to the next one) and rests structure is similar to blister tactile pattern.

What Is It Indicate?

It indicates sudden level change and mostly an edge of all off-street railway platforms. If someone is not careful, he/she might fall into a ditch of rail-track ahead. Of course, it is not applicable for on-street LRT platforms.

Application Areas:

  • Off-street Light Rapid Transit (LRT) platforms
  • Underground rail/metro platforms
  • Heavy railway platforms

Lozenge Tactile Paving:

What Is Lozenge Paving Pattern?

The lozenge-shaped pavers, also known as on-street (platform edge) warning paving patterns.

Lozenge Paving Pattern

As its name suggests, it comprises of tablet (lozenge) shapes with 6 (+/-) 0.5mm high in rows. The lozenge has rounded edges to avoid trip hazards. The form of lozenge may be wholly round or oval/oblong. It can be of any material and have contrasting colors to stand out from the rests/background surfaces. 

What Is It Indicate?

It indicates that the edge of an on-street LRT platform is approaching ahead.

Application Areas:

It mostly installs on a light rapid transit platform with cautions to keep a depth of 400mm parallel to the platform edge and fixes back at least 500mm away from the edge. Never closer to the edge. So, it gives ample time to sense the warning to vision-impaired people going on the path.

Corduroy Hazard Warning or Across & Along with Stripes Tactile Paving:

What Is Corduroy Hazard Warning Paving Pattern?

It is also famous as along stripes or across stripes tactile paving patterns.

Hazard Warning Paving Pattern

It consists of rounded bars running parallel to the pedestrian path. The bars have 6 (+/-) 0.5mm height, 20mm width, and 50mm spaced center-to-center.

What Is It Indicate?

It indicates hazard, proceeds with a caution sign. The risk may be level crossing or steps. It mostly used to mean that footway joins a shared path.

Application Areas:

  • On the top of the platform or bottom of stairs.
  • On the foot of a ramp.
  • On a level crossing.
  • At a railway station.
  • At a footway where it joins a shared route.

Cycle Way Tactile Paving:

What Is Cycleway Tactile Pattern?

It segregates shared cycle track & footpath. It consists of a series of continuously embossed/raised bars with flattening tops. Each bar has 5 (+/-) 0.5mm height, 30mm width, and 70mm spaced center-to-center. The delineated strips mostly have white-color material.

What Is It Indicate?

It advises vision-impaired citizens to keep away from cycle track and walk on the footpath at a safe distance.

Application Areas:

It installs at periodic intervals primarily when the cycle route is running along with footpath for pedestrians. It laid at the beginning & end of the shared course.

Directional Tactile Paving:

What Is Guidance Tactile Pattern or Directional Tactile Pattern?

It is made of a series of raised, but flat-topped bars running parallel to the direction of pedestrians’ travel. 

The bars have 5.5 (+/-) 0.5mm height, 35mm width, and 45mm spaced center-to-center.

What Is It Indicate?

It guides vision-impaired people when traditional clues are absent. For instance, property line, curb edge, & obstacles like street furniture/objects in a pedestrian area. It lets people walking on the tactile surface or keep contact with a long white cane.

Application Areas:

  • It occurs in the absence of the traditional guidance offers between a property line and a carriageway.
  • When vision-impaired people need to guide around obstacles on a path/way.
  • When vision-impaired people wish to find a specific location like facilities in a transport terminal.

Why Tactile Pavers Need Particular Colors & Contrast?

The role of colors and contrast is significant in the production of tactile pattern messages for partially blind human beings.

  • The majority of tactile pavers have bright yellow colors to carry a universal standard.
  • The red is reserved to denote a controlled pedestrian crossing.
  • The buff is reserved for uncontrolled pedestrian crossing.

Now, in the case of contrast, basic science is involved. Any color when sharply contrasting to its background color or surroundings, it comes to the notice immediately. It means visually-impaired citizens when to see tactile pattern along with contrasting colors, they read it despite their partial deficiencies, and the message behind the installation of tactile pavers serves.

What Are Parameters for Detectable Warning Surface Specifications?

According to Wikipedia, ISO/FDIS 23599 standards are describing assistive products for blind and vision-impaired people and providing a guide for tactile walking surface indicators.

Similarly, CEN/TS 15209 standards describe tactile paving surface indicators produced from natural stones and other materials like concrete & clay.

These two kinds of standards use the following parameters:

  • Size 
  • Location
  • Dome size & spacing
  • Dome alignment 

Where Do You Expect the Installation of Tactile Pavers Made of Natural Stones?

  • On-street/off-street LRT platforms
  • Tram and train stations
  • Different types of roads
  • Pedestrian crosswalks
  • Public office buildings
  • Recreational places like museums and galleries
  • Places for the hospitality industry, including hotels, restaurants, and guest houses 
  • Public parks
  • Hospitals and public healthcare units
  • Schools, colleges, and university campuses 

Who will your natural stone tactile paver provider?

It is none, but World of Stones USA can provide you natural stone pavers to use for tactile warnings. Moreover, it can guide you on installations and other aspects.

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