Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Understanding Mobility: Tactile Paving in Southlake Town Square

Have you ever noticed the change on the sidewalk near a street crossing?

It starts to shift from being flat concrete to concrete slightly raised in a circular pattern that is a different shade and slopes downward? Those colorful, bumpy designs have a significant purpose.

Known as detectable warning surfaces and pavers, they are designed to inform the visually impaired that there is about to be a change in path or direction.

Detectable pavers are a part of the tactile paving system. The word tactile means it can be felt. The colors vary from red, to white, to yellow and the design can be stripes or blisters and sometimes a combination of both. Different designs indicate different mobility notifications. In most cases, if you see or feel these pavers, it’s an indication that you are about to approach the street, ramp or top or bottom of stairs. Installation of these pavers is also in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Southlake Town Square has several detectable pavers at the end of each sidewalk to assist pedestrians. These pavers are the red tiles with offset blisters. The contrast of the red color against the concrete is easier to see for those who are partially-sighted.

Now as you’re walking through Town Square and other areas, you will understand what these devices mean and how they are designed to improve mobility for all pedestrians. The City’s goal is to ensure that sidewalks and pathways can accommodate everyone and help the visually impaired navigate through Southlake safely.