A Step Ahead in Pedestrian Safety

Published in TWSI Blog
  • on Thursday, 21 May 2015


Neenah Foundry Tactile Walking Surface Indicators provide alerts for secure crossing

The life of a pedestrian trying to navigate through the city can prove challenging at times. On any given day, a simple walk can include jumping over potholes, dodging construction materials and avoiding cars that seem to come out of nowhere. For a person with vision loss, the list of potential hazards is even longer.

Landmark by Crozier, a Canadian supplier for high end site furnishings and construction castings, recognizes this need for increased safety measures. The Landmark team are actively providing Neenah Foundry’s Tactile Walking Surface Indicators (TWSI’s) to municipalities across Ontario to better alert those with visual impairments of upcoming street crossings. These textured TWSI’s, sometimes referred to as Detectable Warning Plates (DWP’s), have been instrumental in notifying people with vision loss of any upcoming dangers prior to stepping out on the street.

Made from cast iron materials that don’t wear, peel or crack, Neenah Foundry’s TWSI’s outperform in durability. The rigid surfaces and raised set of domes adhere to concrete and withstand even the harshest of Canadian weather conditions. It is recommended that the plates be unpainted, to best contrast with a light grey concrete walking surface. Surfacing colours vary from the standard industrial yellow, or can be customized by selecting a light colour on a dark ground surface or a dark colour on a light surface.

Equally impressive is the quick and easy installation process. In just minutes, you can install the low maintenance TWSI’s into prepared concrete in a number of configurations. Select between bolted plates or trouble-free quick connect plates that snap together with ease.

Accessibility Consultant Lesley MacDonald further highlighted the need for TWSI’s (or DWP’s). “Tactile Walking Surface Indictor's (TWSI's), first developed in the 1960's, facilitate the independent travel of people who have a vision loss in familiar and unfamiliar spaces.  TWSI's should be used at the tops of stairs, blended curbs and at raised elevations such as train platforms, ferry docks and reflecting pools,” said MacDonald, who authored the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)’s guide “Clearing Our Path: Universal design recommendations for people with vision loss”. “TWSI's are considered an important component of accessibility in the built environment. The use of TWSI's is now mandated in the Province of Ontario.” 

Effective January 2016, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) states that TWSI’s (DWP’s) will be mandatory on all new and repaired depressed curb sidewalks in Ontario. Since Neenah’s Foundry’s TWSI’s fit the standard and are in regulatory compliance with both the AODA and the American Disability Act (ADA), many regions are getting a head start to the deadline by having DWP's installed immediately.  

“We’ve received many requests for the plates, including one from the Niagara Region who chose Neenah Foundry’s Tactile Walking Surface Indicators as their base standard,” said Landmark Sales Associate Brian Bekkers, who noted additional installs can be seen across the City of Toronto.

As a result of this recent partnership, Brian will be co-hosting an information seminar May 8th, alongside Lesley and representatives from the Niagara Region to inform local consultants, engineers and contractors of the Region's implementation of Tactile Walking Surface Indicators at all crosswalks. 

Landmark by Crozier, a division of Crozier Enterprisesis a proud distributor of Neenah Foundry’sTactile Walking Surface Indicators . Contact your local Landmark sales associate at 416.214.7727 to find out how you can get started on installing TWSI’s in your community.

About Neenah Foundry: Since 1872, Neenah Foundry has been known for consistent quality, functional performance and design aesthetics. They offer an extensive selection of castings for construction and municipal use including manhole covers and frames, catch basins and curb inlets, cast iron downspouts, airport and port castings, bridge scuppers and many other specialty products. 

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