Several Saanich sidewalks have been adorned with yellow, textured mats designed to guide pedestrians with visual impairments safely through intersections, and residents can expect to see them at more crosswalks in the future.
The mats, also known as “tactile tiles,” have been installed throughout the district following a guidebook that outlines the ideal locations, orientations and materials to best assist visually impaired pedestrians crossing busy roads, explained Megan Catalano, a communications manager for Saanich.
“We usually install [the tiles] during new construction in high traffic areas,” she explained. However, she said the mats can also be added later.
One of the first areas in Saanich to have the tiles installed was the McKenzie Avenue and Quadra Street intersection, after a resident with a visual impairment who uses the intersection regularly requested them for safer crossings. She noted the Canadian National Institute for the Blind approved the installation at the intersection.
The district has plans to install further tactile tiles at more intersections over the summer and fall of 2020, although the exact number has yet to be confirmed.
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