Reply To: Effect of tactile paving on steering of a Whill powerchair

  • Joan Pahisa

    June 22, 2023 at 3:23 am

    Hi Don, as schroth-sensei points, it happens the same with most manual wheelchairs, as front casters are small and can be redirected by minor bumps. With experience, you learn to position yourself in the sidewalk to minimize interaction with tactile pavement and other kind of bumps, but the more crowded the street is the more difficult it is.

    On station platforms, if you can’t avoid getting close to the edge (always leave a minimum margin of 20-30cm on a light wheelchair), going really slow usually reduces the unexpected turns a lot and also gives you the time to redirect things if the wheelchair changes direction. I think it is the only safe solution.

    It is true that in Japan, though, tactile pavement is specially rough and bumpy for wheelchair users. I’ve been on other cities where roughness was similar, but only on curb cuts leading to zebra crossings.

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