The Subtle Codes Embedded in Tactile Paving That Help the Visually Impaired Navigate British Streets

Tom Scott explains the subtle codes embedded in tactile paving that help the visually impaired navigate British streets in his series Things You Might Not Know. Easily overlooked by those who do not need them, the patterns can warn pedestrians of upcoming train crossings, steps, and other potential hazards.

I thought about saying “secret patterns” or “mysterious patterns” in the title, but that’d be a lie: they’re just mostly unknown! So let’s talk about tactile paving, about design, about accessibility, and about those bumpy bits that you stand on when you’re crossing a British street.