In public realm design, tactile walking surface indicators (TWSIs) serve a vital role in enhancing accessibility and safety for pedestrians with vision impairments. TWSIs provide standardized textured ground surfaces that convey essential navigational cues and hazard warnings through the sense of touch.
Two key types of TWSIs exist—warning tactile and guidance tactile. But what exactly sets them apart? In this blog post, we’ll explore the crucial differences between these two indispensable tactile systems.
Also known as attention or hazard tactile indicators, warning tactile signify potential dangers present along the path of travel. Warning tactile typically feature:
Warning tactile’s textured pattern alerts pedestrians to stop, assess their surroundings, and proceed with caution. They notify individuals with vision impairments about impending drop-offs, obstacles, or changes in elevation.
Some prime locations where warning tactile provide vital hazard cues include:
Warning tactile along the platform edge prevents accidental slips and falls onto the tracks.
Warning tiles at transitions from sidewalk to street caution users about the level change.
Warning tiles mark door thresholds to indicate the change in elevation.
Warning patterns at stair nosings signal upcoming stairs.
Warning tactile defines the crossing point before vehicle routes.
Warning tactile forewarn users of moving staircases.
Guidance tactile, also called directional or wayfinding tactile, provides orientation cues to guide pedestrians along appropriate circulation routes. Guidance tactile common feature:
The linear bars give pedestrians tactile information about the safe direction of movement and path location. Guidance or tactile wayfinding enables intuitive wayfinding, especially in large open spaces.
Some key locations where guidance tactile direct and orient pedestrians include:
Guidance tactile directs passengers to platforms, ticket counters, exits, etc.
Guidance patterns guide users safely across open plazas and fields.
Guidance tactile leads from entrances to reception desks, elevators, and other areas.
Guidance patterns direct users through sprawling complexes.
Now that we’ve covered both systems independently, let’s examine how warning and guidance tactile differ:
When employing TWSIs in public realm design, it’s crucial to follow Canadian accessibility guidelines and regulations. Relevant codes and standards include:
Compliant tactile not only fulfill legal obligations but also create consistently accessible and interpretable cues that enhance public safety.
The two main types are warning/attention tactile, that caution about hazards, and guidance/wayfinding tactile, which directs along safe paths.
Warning tactile is used at platform edges, curb ramps, apartment/condo buildings, stairs, pedestrian crossings, etc. Guidance tactile is installed along walkways and circulation routes.
Yes, warning and guidance tactile work in tandem. Guidance paths often begin/end with warning tiles indicating upcoming hazards or decision points.
Relevant regulations include the AODA, CSA B651, Ontario Building Code, and National Building Code of Canada.
As Canada’s premier accessibility solutions provider, Tactile Solution Canada offers a wide selection of compliant warning and guidance tactile systems from trusted brands like:
Let our team of experts recommend the optimal tactile systems for your next public project. Contact Tactile Solution Canada today!