Tactile Paving

In the 1960s, a Japanese inventor called Seiichi Miyake is credited with inventing tactile paving, also known as Tenji bricks. In 1965, he devised the concept of tactile pavement to assist a vision-impaired buddy in navigating public venues, train stations, and stairwells. 

On 18th March, 1967, the tactile pavement was initially laid in Okayama City, and a year later, it was deemed necessary for all railway stations.

What is tactile pavement?

Generally, Tactile pavement uses raised lines, domes, and other textures to transmit safety information to those who are either blind or have low vision or any vision impairment. 

Large lines or domes serve as a kind of stop sign, whereas smaller dots or lines signal that a path will be safe for a walk on. In many parts of the world, tactile indicators are found in both indoor and outdoor environments.

The following are a few random facts that you must know about tactile paving:

  1. Tactile paving is also known as “detectable warnings,” “tactile tiles,” “detectable warning surfaces,” “tactile indicators,” “truncated domes,” “tenji blocks,” “tactile ground surface indicators” and “textured paving blocks.”  
  2. Hazardous places, such as changes in ground level, are regions where tactile pavement normally is utilized as a kind of warning for people who are blind, as it may be detected with one’s feet or a cane.
  3. Frequently tactile paving is yellow or a bright, contrasting color to all the surrounding environment, acting as a further caution to persons with weak vision.
  4. Usually, tactile paving is rectangular or square in shape, with large bumps on such surface, which are either rectangular or circular, with the circular bumps indicating’ stop’ and the rectangular bumps indicating ‘go.’
  5. The shape, size, color, and distributions of the bumps, as well as their placement related to hazardous regions, are all determined by numerous rules and guidelines that are governed by each country.
  6. The United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan were among the first countries to use tactile paving, followed by the US and Canada in the 1990s.
  7. Typically, tactile paving is made of hard materials such as heavy-duty polyurethane, concrete, ceramic, stainless steel, or other long-lasting materials, and it is found on transport platforms, steps, footpaths, and other areas, though it is not recommended normally to use the tiles on any steep slopes.
  8. The problem of tactile pavement safety for ordinary pedestrians, and also the visually impaired, is often contentious, as the bumps are challenging for individuals in wheelchairs, and the tiles can occasionally be hazardous or slippery, despite efforts to mitigate these issues.

Why generally tactile pavement is brightly coloured?

Most tactile pavement, especially in outdoor situations, is a different colour from the rest of other paths. This is to enable folks who have poor vision or have a little usable vision to see where exactly the path is by increasing the contrast. This is especially useful for people who do not generally use any canes or some other mobility aids and have eyesight issues.

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