Baguio City Installs Braille Tiles in Sidewalks

It's a big help for the visually impaired.

(SPOT.ph) With its chilly weather and proximity to lots of tourist-friendly spots, Baguio City in Benguet is best enjoyed on foot. You can start your day with a cup of coffee from one of the many restaurants along Session Road, follow a mean set of stairs towards Baguio Cathedral, weave through the crowd to get to a local ukay-ukay, and find your away around the maze of alleys to get to Burnham Park. But for the visually impaired, Baguio City's sloped roads make things even more of a challenge. In response, the local city government started installing tactile tiles or Braille tiles along the main roads, such as Upper Bonifacio Street—a photo of which was shared by Mia Magdalena Longid online. Her post dated April 28 has since earned more than 4,000 shares.

The installation of the textured surface started before the enhanced community quarantine, which was declared for all of Luzon on March 16. Construction will hopefully continue as soon as the quarantine is lifted, Longid tells SPOT.ph.

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Tacticle paving, which is also known as Tenji blocks, was first introduced by inventor Seiichi Miyake in 1965 in a street in Okayama City in Japan. The bumpy surface helps visually impaired individuals know if they're walking towards the edge of the sidewalk and into the road or if the curb is leading to an intersection or pedestrian lane. The technology was picked up in the United Kingdom, Australia, and United States in the 1990s; and later across the globe.

Marikina in 2014 installed Braille tiles on the sidewalks of their sports center, city health center, public market, and city hall compound.

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Photo used with permission from Mia Magdalena Longid for SPOT.ph.

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