In the last year or so, steel plates have begun appearing where walkways meet roads at intersections. These steel plates have a tactile surface to warn pedestrians that they are at an intersection. I have heard city engineers refer to them as Lego dots or Lego blocks, due to the similarity of the tactile bumps to the popular children’s toy.
As evidenced by the above picture, the plates can rust. The dots get ripped open by sidewalk and road plows in winter. In the example above, a number of the dots “stood up” like ripped open bits of tin cans, with sharp edges protruding 3/4 of an inch or more straight up. Just waiting for someone with flip flops who needed their toes serrated.
These steel plates must look and work great in Los Angeles. Maybe even in Toronto.
But in Ottawa?
I think an urgent policy review is required in the city engineering department. These plates are dangerous. And expensive to keep replacing.
We used to have simple groves in the sidewalks, which seemed to me to work fine, and which don’t get ripped off by plows:
What do you think? Should our city walkways be adorned with Lego dots or stripes?