Monday, October 2, 2017

What Those Bumps On The Sidewalk Are Really For

It's amazing what we don't notice about cities when they're not designed for us to notice. It's not that surprising, however. For the most part, when I'm out and about, I have tunnel vision. I just want to get where I'm going and get home as quickly as possible. I'm not going to notice anything unless it gets between me and that goal. However, it turns out that tunnel vision is actually a design concern that city planners have thought of. How about that?

Surely you must have noticed the pads with little bumps on them that have sprouted up at the corner of every sidewalk. What are they for, though?

I always thought they were for extra traction in the winter. And maybe they do serve that purpose a bit, but that's not why they were installed.

No, these sections of bumpy rubber are for the visually impaired. 

Few sighted people would ever notice it, but they're laid out in patterns that tell a blind or low-sighted person some information about where they are. Often they'll be bright red or yellow – or at least they're bright when they're installed – to catch the attention of people with partial vision.

Those dots in a grid tell a visually impaired person that a curb sloping down into a road is coming up. 

A red pad means it's a controlled intersection.

There are many other patterns out there on the sidewalks that you might not have noticed, and they're all there to help the visually impaired get around safely.

Learn more in the video below!


Author: verified_user