City of Sydney Council is rolling out a comprehensive network of tactile street signs. The new installations are designed to help people who are blind or have low vision to navigate the city. Described by Lord Mayor Clover Moore as the “world’s largest tactile network” these will be installed at every signalised pedestrian crossing in the city. The tactile aluminium panels with braille and raised lettering detailing street names and building numbers are located next to the push button.
It is expected that the network will eventually contain more than 2100 panels which form part of Sydney’s wayfinding system that also includes pedestrian-friendly maps, information pylons, new signs and digital technology.
A key plank of the strategy has been input and on-site testing with Guide Dogs NSW/ACT and Vision Australia. There are an estimated 100,000 people with irreversible vision loss in NSW according to Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, and that number is predicted to increase by more than 20 per cent by 2020.