This Is What Those Bumps On The Sidewalk Are Actually For

Have you ever noticed some knobby bumps on the ground in the part of the sidewalk where you were standing? What are they for, though?

Those dots are there for a very good reason, designed to help people who are blind or have limited vision navigate their communities.

Primary Function

Also known as Tactile paving, these bumps help individuals, who are unable to see the differences between a sidewalk and a road, understand that they are approaching a roadway.

When a blind or partially sighted person is walking and feels a sudden change in the texture of the surface of the sidewalk either with a cane or with their feet, they become aware that they need to pay special attention to their surroundings.


Surface Design

You may have observed a variety of raised surfaces as you navigate a modern city, especially on sidewalks and train platforms.

These textured surfaces follow national and international design specifications to send an appropriate message to those who have difficulty seeing.

Types of Patterns

Each pattern delivers a different message. For example, a grid of bumps signals that the person is approaching a sloping curve connecting a sidewalk and a road. Other patterns of bumps send the message that an individual is approaching a train platform.

A red pad means that the intersection is a controlled one.

Raised stripes across a pathway send a signal that there are stairs ahead. You might have also seen running stripes that will follow a pathway.


As per the American Foundation for the Blind, “18 percent of people who are visually impaired are classified as being totally blind and the majority of them can differentiate between light and dark.”

Many individuals with some degree of blindness may not be able to differentiate between a beige sidewalk and a gray roadway, but they can easily make out from the red or yellow color.

Learn From The Video

There are different patterns that you probably never noticed or paid attention to with each of them serves an important purpose. Watch the video below to learn more about these special patterns.

The blind and visually impaired are also an important part of our society and need to be safe like us. Share this post with your family and friends.

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