Trip prevention has always been an important aspect of good sidewalk design and has seen many innovations over the years. With the advent of curb cuts, however, trip protection is more important than ever. A conscious effort is being made to ensure trip protection innovations extend their usefulness to not only the average person but to all persons regardless of ability. This is especially important for visually impaired individuals, and individuals with limited mobility.
One of the first major innovations was installing curb breaks into crosswalks. This move was a large step forward for accessibility, particularly for those in wheelchairs. Curb cut ramps eliminated the barriers and tripping hazards of high curbs at crosswalks and roadways. This improvement did come with drawbacks because it eliminated the queue for the visually impaired individuals as they were entering a zone with vehicular traffic. To combat this, detectable warning tiles were implemented alongside curb cuts.
Detectable warning pads utilize truncated domes, a series of bumps used at the end of sidewalks that lead onto roadways. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) quickly made these truncated dome installations a requirement nationally, with set regulations for their spacing and specifications.
Truncated dome installations initially had a spacing of 1.67 inches side by side and an alternating pattern design. While effective for some members of the population, this early design did not account for the impact of rolling a wheelchair across the domed surface for those with back injuries. As a result, the new standard allowed for truncated dome spacing was raised to a variance or 1.67 to 2.4 inches in an inline grid type pattern. This new pattern allows strollers and wheelchairs to navigate without difficulty and reduces potential tripping hazards.
The material used to make truncated domes also play a significant role in trip prevention. Concrete may seem like a good choice at first glance. However, it is challenging to mold into perfect truncated domes. Even if your detectable warning tile installation manages to pass inspection and be ADA compliant, concrete domes are extremely prone to damage and breaking. If a dome becomes broken or damaged, then the surface becomes uneven and increases trip hazards. Rubber ADA warning mats are another common ADA compliant tile which are prone to similar problems. Rubber mats can easily deteriorate, leaving an uneven surface just as the concrete ADA compliant tiles would.
Access® Tile’s detectable waring pads are made with truncated domes spaced at 2.35 inches, and have been engineered with superior anti-slip technology. We incorporated twice as many tactile elements than our competitors on each ADA warning tile, making for a long lasting, high quality truncated dome tile.
Each of our ADA compliant detectable warning tiles come with a 5-year warranty. Each piece of tactile paving is also replaceable within 5 minutes if, for any reason, you need to change an ADA tile.
You can view our ADA Regulations page for a summary of the act’s most important points, or view the full official Truncated Domes ADA Requirements to learn more about the importance of truncated domes in trip prevention.
- Trip protection has always been an important aspect of good sidewalk design, resulting in consistent innovation, focusing on trip prevention for all persons.
- Inferior materials can create potentially dangerous trip hazards, undermining the quality of any ADA compliant tiles.
- Truncated domes, tactile warning systems required by the ADA, are the perfect solution. They can be made from concrete or rubber, but both of these materials have flaws. They can be damaged easily, creating a tripping hazard.
- The composite used in Access® Tile’s products are extremely lightweight and durable and resists breakage and damage.
- All of our ADA compliant detectable warning tiles replace within minutes and are protected under a 5-year warranty.