Friday, May 29, 2009

How's the End of Your Sidewalk?

I am going to pull a Christina here and write about something I have noticed on my walk to work.  Recently the end ramps of sidewalks around Teele square in Somerville have been dug up and replaced with these tiles in the picture to the right.  I didn't know why the city would do this, so I asked around.   Is it to help pedestrians navigate the sidewalk when its icy out?  Give us traction when it rains?

It turns out that that this is a detectable warning tactile tile, which helps visually impaired people find the end of the street and wheelchair users have access to get on and off the sidewalk.   I am glad that City of Somerville is making efforts to make their sidewalks more friendly for the individuals that are differently abeled than myself.  Isn't it amazing how much you take for granted, such as crossing the street safely?  

A point to ponder is why haven't I noticed this tile elsewhere before?  Possibly I only noticed this NEW change to the neighborhood, mostly because it effected the path I take to work and there could be longstanding ones in the Boston area that I have never noticed.  It also makes me wonder what else I take for granted/ never noticed around my community?  

What positive changes have you noticed in your neighborhood lately?

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