Day: October 9, 2023

How to Choose the Right Playground Surfacing

play surfacing

Playground surfacing is critical to children’s safety and provides the foundation for an engaging environment. Historically, many play surfacing were made from materials like sand and gravel, but today we have a number of options that are designed specifically for surfacing playground equipment.

Whether you are looking for a natural look with bark mulch or something more colorful and long-lasting with rubber tiles, there are options to fit any design and budget. Regardless of the type of surfacing you choose, there are some important things to consider that will influence your up-front and long-term investment.

The Science of Playground Surfacing: What You Need to Know

Age-appropriateness: For infants and toddlers, loose surfacing material like pea gravel or wood mulch could contain small fragments that pose a choking hazard. Instead, these types of surfacing should be replaced with more durable unitary surface materials like rubber tiles or poured-in-place (PIP) rubber.

Maintenance requirements: The amount of maintenance required to keep your surfacing looking great will impact the initial cost and ongoing costs. Loose surfacing can require a lot of raking and may need to be replaced frequently while unitary surfaces like poured-in-place rubber or interlocking resilient tiles provide minimal up-front maintenance and are easy to clean.

Budget: While most playgrounds will have specific budget specifications in place, it is essential to find a surface that will not compromise the integrity of the playground. Avoid materials like sand, gravel, dirt and asphalt as they do not offer adequate impact attenuation for child falls.

Toucan Crossing Design

toucan crossing design

As a design, toucan crossing design are intended to encourage cyclists to use the road system where there are not already dedicated cycle lanes. They are found at junctions where a major street crosses a cycle boulevard and restrict through traffic and left turn movements from the side street, creating a protected crossing for bicyclists.

They are also used on the entrance and exit of large parks. They can also be located on the edge of a pedestrian or cycle lane. The zigzag lines surrounding the crossing encourage drivers to slow their vehicles on approach and provide a better view for pedestrians or cyclists as they prepare to cross. It is an offence to stop within the zigzag line or block the way of pedestrians or cyclists using a Toucan crossing and can lead to a fine.

Creating Order on the Streets: A Deep Dive into Zebra Crossing Design Principles

The Toucan crossing operates the same as a zebra, pelican or puffin crossing, with pedestrians and cyclists pushing a button to request to cross. The main difference is that it shows a green man figure with a bicycle alongside the pedestrian figure to indicate when it is safe for cycling. It is possible to find other types of crossing that allow cycling but they are more likely to be found adjacent to a cycle lane and are often called cycle-specific, puffin, or horse riding (Equestrian) crossings.

When approaching a Toucan crossing, drivers should look out for the ‘wait’ symbol shown on the yellow box and keep scanning either side of the road in case pedestrians run into the road at the last minute. The lights may change before the crossing is completed so it is a good idea to have a plan in place for when you see the green light. It is also a good idea to keep an eye on the road surface and the weather conditions as these can affect the time it takes to slow down and stop.