Shared-use paths are an important infrastructure in protecting people from the potential hazards of nearby roadways. Prohibited to motorized vehicles except wheelchairs, shared-use paths are intended for pedestrians, runners, bicyclists, and other users engaged in recreational activities. Physically separated from motorized vehicles by open space or barrier, shared-use paths help eliminate vehicular concerns for persons with low vision. In the absence of curbs, directional guidance indicators provide persons with low vision a textured ground surface indicator of an impending directional change, obstacle, crossflow with motorized vehicles, or end to the path.
Directional Guidance Indicators
Navigating bike lanes, walking through open public spaces, or using a shared-use recreational path, comes without difficulty for most people. Curbs, cars, trees, bollards, signposts, and other environmental cues signal when a pedestrian needs to shift course. Persons with no or low vision rely on ground surface tiles to provide these cues.
Directional guidance indicators (DGI) average 6-inches wide with a double-row of textured oblong bars to differentiate from the truncated detectable warning tiles at pedestrian crossings. Directional guidance indicators provide guidance to separate shared-use lanes or to indicate a change in the path or potentially hazardous conditions.
The layout of the DGI is critical to the person depending on them for safe maneuvering of the area. A single row of directional indicator is used in the center of the path to indicate inbound and outbound pedestrian and non-motorized traffic. A single row along the edge establishes a boundary. It can also be used to surround obstacles on the path such as bollards and posts. Multiple rows of DGIs indicates a significant change in the direction of travel.
A TufTile Case Study – A Vehicle Roadway and a Curved Bike Lane
A TufTile client in the Pacific Northwest reached out after a circumstance caused a pedestrian with low vision to walk down a bike ramp toward an open roadway. The particulars involved a pedestrian path which transitioned to a shared-use path. At a specific juncture, the bicycle lane in the roadway merged with the pedestrian path becoming shared-use. Lacking in directional guidance indicators, an individual used their mobility cane to follow the edge of the curb, approached the merging bike lane ramp and accidentally walked down the ramp toward the roadway. An approaching motorist quickly stopped to guide the individual safely back to the path and away from the road.
The city ADA coordinator reached out to TufTile for assistance evaluating and recommending a solution using detectable guidance indicators. Two rows of DGI were installed leading up to the opening of the bike ramp and one row after the bike ramp opening. Multiple rows were installed at the intersection of the bike ramp and shared pathway. This installation has ensured the safety of persons using the shared-use path and is being implemented throughout the city.
Directional Tiles in Galvanized Steel
The TufTile directional guidance indicators used are constructed of G90 galvanized steel with a slip-resistant powder coated finish. Galvanized was chosen for its ability to withstand high volumes of pedestrian traffic and recreational equipment. Executed in a region known for constant mist and rain, galvanization means no corrosion. Durable yet lightweight, galvanized steel has a low-profile edge to alert those with low vision without concern for tripping. The success of the project has resulted in the city continuing to review the installation of directional guidance indicators along shared-use paths to ensure safe enjoyment for all.
To learn more about directional guidance indicators, contact us sales & support at 1-888-960-8897.