• Platform Tiles

  • Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.
Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.

Moderators: mtuandrew, therock, Robert Paniagua

  by hardyboyz1999
 
I think that putting the brown strip of bumpy tiles in many of the stations' platform edges was a ridiculous idea. The bumpy tiles were installed with the hopes of getting the attention of vision-impaired riders to warn them that they are getting close to the platform edge, but in reality they aren't very effective in my opinion. I find it uncomfortable to walk on the bumpy tiles; if someone isn't careful, they could trip and fall when walking on the bumpy tiles. I like the red hexagonal tiles a lot better. The red tiles are very nice and stylish, they're even a little shiny, which gives the platform a very nice fashion sense. Fortunately, not all of the stations' platforms have those ugly brown bumpy tiles. Two of the stations that I frequent a lot, Twinbrook (where I get off to go to work) and Tenleytown (I go to the Best Buy there) only have the nice red tiles. When I'm waiting for my train at Twinbrook and Tenleytown, I tend to stare at those stylish red tiles on the platform. I really like looking at the red tiles at Tenleytown (or one of the other underground stations that only have the red tiles) under the lights (like when the train is pulling in, as there are lots of lights on the train); that gives the red tiles a very nice shine. Not only are the red tiles nicer to look at, they're safer to walk on than the bumpy tiles. Those red tiles are just plain smooth (literally).
  by Erie-Lackawanna
 
hardyboyz1999 wrote:Those red tiles are just plain smooth (literally).
And, under ADA, non-compliant. Pretty doesn't make 'em legal.

Walk on the non-tactile surface if it's uncomfortable. And spend more time watching the trains - or other interesting sights - than the floor. You'll probably be safer that way, too. :)

Jim
  by Sand Box John
 
hardyboyz1999

The 24" truncated dome strip behind the granite edge was mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). WMATA was ahead of the curve when it came to accommodating the sight impaired. The problem was the roughness of the 18" granite edge did not contrast enough to satisfy the ADA regulation. Under the ADA WMATA was required to replace the 18" granite edge with a 24" truncated dome strip. WMATA protested because of the cost. After some legal negotiations a compromise was reached. The a 24" truncated dome strip was allow to placed behind the 18" granite edge.
  by CHIP72
 
Those "pretty" tiles on the bulk of the platforms at all stations are also known for being a little slippery when wet.
  by SchuminWeb
 
Indeed. I've nearly taken a fall on a few occasions due to those tiles' being wet. When the tiles are really wet, such as in the rain, they're not so much of a problem, but they're really dangerous when they've got a little bit of moisture on them, such as condensation, or water tracked in from wet outdoors.

Also, besides the sight-impaired issue, the truncated-dome tiles create an exclusion zone around the platform edge, keeping people a safe distance (3 1/2 feet) from the edge of the platform.
  by tommyboy6181
 
I agree with the pretty tiles being a little hazardous when wet. When I was last in the Metro back in April, there was a good rainstorm that just started up when I was walking from Metro Center to the Gallery Place station. Once I got into Gallery Place, the tiles really were not that wet at the escalator landing, but still almost slipped on them. It could be compared to the reaction that asphalt has when it gets slightly wet...it gets slippery but when it's wet for a long period of time, it's not bad.
  by jamesinclair
 
hardyboyz1999 wrote: but in reality they aren't very effective in my opinion.
Do you use a walking stick to guide yourself? If not, how can you judge if theyre effective at informing a blind rider where the edge is?

Considering theyre standard on almost every transit system in the world, I'd assume they do the job they're supposed to.
  by SchuminWeb
 
I'm just surprised that Metro hasn't retrofitted all the older stations with these tiles yet. It's been a decade since the tiles were installed in most cases.
  by tommyboy6181
 
You would be right because when I was in DC back in 2000, I noticed many of the stations already did have the new platform tiles at the edges.
  by WMATAGMOAGH
 
SchuminWeb wrote:I'm just surprised that Metro hasn't retrofitted all the older stations with these tiles yet. It's been a decade since the tiles were installed in most cases.
IIRC, WMATA never intended to install them at every station.