Lego plates at every corner in Chicago

Sidewalk blind bumps

What is up with all these new lego-like plates being installed at the edge of sidewalks in Chicago?


A) General Safety: The bumps would (in theory) make it harder to slip into the street. (I’m not sure of that, because when they get wet, they would get pretty slippery.)

B) For the Blind: The change in texture in the sidewalk would probably assist the blind to indicate that there is a street at the end of this sidewalk. Now would a blind person be able to tell that with their cane? Maybe it’s for the seeing-eye dogs. Let’s take a look at how a dog would see it in black and white.

Yup there’s a good amount of contrast between the bumpy thing and the sidewalk. Could have more contrast though. Which brings us to the next point.

How can these be improved?

The dusty mauve color sure is an… interesting choice. Why not go with the bright yellow that the Metra employs at their train stations? Or maybe the pretty blue the CTA uses at their train stops? Perhaps dusty mauve was chosen to blend in more, but actually the color just makes it seem like they are an ugly faded red. Why not just go with a nice deep charcoal gray? Hmm, but having color does make it more alertful.

Other uses

Or maybe I’ve missed the mark completely on this. Perhaps…

  1. They are lego plates encouraging the general public to stack legos on them.
  2. They could also be installation blocks to create archways across the street.
  3. Or maybe it’s just a case of the sidewalk having the mumps or pimples.

Any other ideas about these sidewalk doo-dads are welcome in the comments.

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16 years ago

you forgot the fourth reason why they installed these: union workers.

Tom Saaristo
16 years ago

LOL near Moose! I think I’ll go with his theory … Got keep those city workers working! Actually I’m pretty sure they are for safety for pedestrians, the sidewalks can get quick slick, especially at intersections … and for wheelchairs which need the traction especially on sloped sidewalks.

12 years ago

Its for skateboarding. Or the stopping of skateboarding.

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