Clearing Our Path

Creating accessible environments ­for people with vision loss

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Design Needs

Design Basics

Exteriors and Interiors

Exterior Design Elements

Interior Design Elements

Islands

Wherever possible, street crossings should provide a direct route from one side of the street to another without a raised island in the middle. People with vision loss may otherwise assume that they’ve reached the other side of a street when they have in fact reached an island.

A good example of using curb ramps to facilitate access to an island.
A good example of a walkway through an island that is level with the road surface.

However, for especially wide street crossings (e.g., crossings with six or more car lanes), an island can provide a safe place to stop before completing a crossing. For these exceptionally wide crossings, provide additional time for pedestrians to complete the crossing.

A good example of a channelized island that aligns with the pedestrian entry points on both sides of the road.

Where a raised island is used within a pedestrian crossing route, a level walkway should be cut through the island, or curb ramps should provide access to the island from both sides. Islands should incorporate a level rest area that is at least 1,400 mm long, with appropriate attention TWSIs installed at each side of the island.

When an island is level with the road surface, the walkway through the island should begin and end with an attention TWSI that spans the entire width of the walkway. The attention TWSI should be set back 150 – 200 mm from the curb line, 600 – 650 mm deep and colour contrasted to the rest of the walkway. Further information can be found in the section on tactile walking surface indicators.

Wherever possible, the line of travel through a traffic island should be a straight pathway from the original crossing point. Where this is not possible, a channelized configuration should be used to ensure that the entry points on both sides of the island align with the original crossing points on each side of the road.