|Publication number||US20050265782 A1|
|Application number||US 10/859,374|
|Publication date||Dec 1, 2005|
|Filing date||Jun 1, 2004|
|Priority date||Jun 1, 2004|
|Publication number||10859374, 859374, US 2005/0265782 A1, US 2005/265782 A1, US 20050265782 A1, US 20050265782A1, US 2005265782 A1, US 2005265782A1, US-A1-20050265782, US-A1-2005265782, US2005/0265782A1, US2005/265782A1, US20050265782 A1, US20050265782A1, US2005265782 A1, US2005265782A1|
|Original Assignee||Everett James C|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (13), Referenced by (2), Classifications (10)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to pedestrian walkways, ramps, platforms and curbs used by the visually impaired.
For the visually impaired, there is a need for a warning system in public transit facilities to decrease the level of risk of inadvertent street entry associated with the presence of curb ramps. Detectable warnings complying with existing ADAAG requirements can provide an effective stop signal for the visually impaired to determine the end of a sidewalk and the beginning of a vehicular way.
American with Disabilities Act (ADA): “Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities” instill the guidelines for the use of detectable warnings associated with the presence of curb ramps, walking surfaces, platforms and the like. The guidelines state that detectable warnings are to be in the form of a truncated dome with a diameter of 0.9 inch at the bottom, a diameter of 0.4 inch at the top, a height of 0.2 inch and a center-to-center spacing of 2.35 inches measured along one side of a square arrangement. The material used to form the detectable warning must contrast visually with the adjoining surface, either light on dark or dark on light. The visual contrast must be a minimum of 70 percent in light reflectance between the detectable warning and an adjoining surface. The material used to provide visual contrast must be an integral part of the detectable warning surface. The location of the detectable warnings is to be such that the edge nearest the curb line or other potential hazard is 6 to 8 inches from the curb line or other potential hazard. Placement of the detectable warnings a maximum of 6 to 8 inches back from the curb line gives some latitude in placement of the detectable warning. Curb ramps are required to have detectable warnings extending the full width and depth of the curb ramp. Curbing embedded at the sidewalk/street junction is not required to be replaced. Platform edges bordering a drop off and that are not protected by guardrails or screens must have a detectable warning 24 inches wide that runs the full length of the platform drop off If a walkway adjoins or crosses a vehicular way and the two are not separated by curbs or railing, the boundary between the areas is to have a continuous detectable warning that is 36 inches wide.
Known within the art are ways to produce the above mentioned detectable warnings by using a stamp with indentions on a wet concrete surface. U.S. Pat. No. 5,271,690 issued to Fennessy, Sr. describes this method. The end result is a concrete surface with detectable warnings. However, use of this method is very expensive and labor intensive. It is also limited to the initial forming of the concrete surface and cannot be used to retrofit an existing surface.
Also know within the art is a pre-cast textured tile system and method for positioning on a necessary surface. U.S. Pat. No. 5,385,770 issued to Julnes describes this method. Described is a “mask” used to create a pattern of holes. A viscous substance is poured into the holes and the mask is then removed exposing raised detectable warnings on the surface. The apertures are supposed to resemble elongated ellipses. The resulting detectable warnings have a length of approximately 1.5″, a length of approximately 0.8″, and a height of approximately 0.14″. After applied to the appropriate surface, the end result of this invention is a surface with detectable warnings. In theory this is seemingly a good, inexpensive way to form detectable warning systems. However, in practice, particularly in areas that experience extremely warm temperatures, these pre-cast tiles have trouble adhering to the surface and either bubble up or peel off. In this event, an even greater danger is imposed on the handicap or visually impaired person who crosses the surface. Also, the liability on the owner of the surface on which these tiles are placed increases dramatically.
An attempt has been made to decrease the inherent problems with the pre-cast textured tile system for forming detectable warnings in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 0040042850 submitted by Provenzano, Peter J. III. This system describes laying the pre-cast tiles in fresh concrete. This may solve the above-mentioned problems but describes a very different method of doing so than our present invention.
What is needed is an inexpensive and less labor intensive way to produce detectable warning systems on ramps, curbs, walkways and the like in which there is no danger of the truncated domes coming loose or the surface becoming dangerous, thus increasing the danger to those who cross as opposed to decreasing it. This system must also comply with the ADA.
The present invention sets forth a method for giving a concrete surface visual and tactile detectable warnings as well as the product of this method. This method can be used on new or existing surfaces, thus already placing it above the on-site stamping method. The present invention can be used on any surface that is required to have detectable warnings pursuant to the ADA but is not limited to just those surfaces.
In brief summary, the method describes ways of marking the necessary surface in each spot that a truncated dome is required. This marking can be done either by apply a pre-made map to the surface or by measuring the surface by hand and making marks. The pre-made map can take two different forms. The best embodiment is a two-ply sticker sheet that is cut in the shape of the surface requiring the detectable warnings. Another embodiment can be a one-layer sticker sheet. Choosing between these two embodiments depends on the needs of the installer.
Next, the surface is drilled using a tool suitable for drilling into concrete at each said mark. Then, a piece of durable material such as a hard nylon or plastic is placed in each drilled hole. Said piece of material is referred to as a “button” for purposes of this application. Said button is shaped in such a way that the top is a truncated dome pursuant to the guidelines set forth by the ADA on detectable warnings and the bottom is long and wide enough to fit securely into the drilled hole.
Obviously, the drilled hole must be deep enough to house the button. Two different methods of fitting the detectable warning button securely into the hole are described. One method is applying an epoxy capable of adhering to both concrete and plastic into each hole to form a tight bond between the inserted button and the interior of the hole. Another method is for the part of the button that is to be placed into the hole to possess a course gripping texture that will function as an embedded anchoring device for the said button. In the event that one of these friction fit buttons becomes loose, epoxy can be added for extra stick. Therefore, the present invention claims the epoxy method, the friction fit method, and a combination of the two.
Said buttons are intended to comply with the ADA regulations for detectable warnings not only in their shape but also in their color. Said buttons shall be produced in a color that contrasts with the adjoining surface either light on dark or dark on light. They are also intended to be placed in the pattern required by the ADA.
The present invention is intended to create detectable warnings on surfaces as required by the ADA Accessibility Guidelines to further protect individuals in society who are blind or visually impaired. Also, as the language of the law evolves, this invention has the ability to change accordingly. Also, it is not limited to those surfaces. This invention can be used on any surface where it is desirable to create visual and tactile detectable warnings for pedestrian traffic. This is the reason in which some presented claims have very specific guidelines for creating the detectable warnings and others are broader. We feel this is necessary so that our invention may encompass any surface on which a detectable warning system is necessary.
The present invention is based on a system in which holes are drilled into a concrete surface in a set pattern. On surfaces where the ADA is requiring detectable warnings to be present, the set pattern shall reflect the Accessibility Guidelines of the ADA for detectable warning systems. On all other surfaces, any predetermined pattern is possible. The actual concrete surface in question can be prepared by mixture of any composition acceptable in the industry.
The present invention has two different parts that are required to be pre-manufactured. The first concerns the sticker sheet method of marking the concrete surface where each detectable warning is to be placed. The second is the actual detectable warning truncated dome to be placed in the surface.
Two different methods of marking the concrete surface in preparation for drilling holes in a set pattern are embodied in our claims. One is using a pre-made map or template that can adhere to the surface and the second is to measure and place the marks down by hand. The first and perhaps most effective method is to use a pre-made mapping system in the form of a sticker that has been manufactured and cut to stick directly onto the concrete surface where the detectable warnings are to go. Said sticker sheet has marks on it in the predetermined pattern corresponding directly to where each detectable warning truncated dome is to be placed. In the event the surface is one falling under the ADA Accessibility Guidelines, each mark on the sticker is to be placed with a center-to-center spacing of 2.35 inches measured along one side of a square arrangement. Said sticker sheet is to be cut in the exact shape of the surface requiring the warnings. The paper backing on the sticker sheet is removed and it is placed directly on the concrete surface. A hole can then be drilled through the sticker and into the concrete surface using a tool or method suitable in the industry for creating holes in concrete.
The other part of the present invention that must be pre-manufactured are the truncated domes themselves. We call our embodiment of the truncated domes “buttons”. The buttons are to be made of a nylon or plastic material that is very durable and can withstand abuse from heavy amounts of traffic including shoes, wheelchairs, and anything else that might be reasonably expected to cross over them. Two different variations of buttons are embodied in our claims. One has a truncated dome top with a diameter of 0.9 inch at the bottom, a diameter of 0.4 inch at the top and a height of 0.2 inch, and a thinner elongated member extending from the flat side of the truncated dome to a length necessary to function as an anchoring device for the said button. The elongated member is designed to be of a length and diameter equal to or less than the hole drilled into the concrete that is to house the button in such a manner so that the button can fit securely into the hole with the truncated dome resting on the top of the concrete surface. For this embodiment of the button, an epoxy capable of adhering to both concrete and plastic is also put in the drilled hole to ensure a secure fit, thus preventing the truncated dome from ever being dislodged from the concrete surface. The other variation of button has the same truncated dome top dimensions but is different in that the elongated member possesses a course gripping texture to function as an embedded anchoring device for the said button in the concrete. We call this the friction fit button. The theory behind this button is that its texture will be sufficient to ensure a secure fit in the concrete, thus eliminating the need for any epoxy. However, epoxy may be used along with the friction fit button for any necessary added security. With these buttons, we feel that the detectable warning will never be dislodged from the surface and thus the safety of those passing across the surface will never be in question.
The present invention thus embodies every possible variation of using the sticker sheet to create marks or manually measuring out the marks, drilling into the concrete at each mark, and then securing either a smooth button with epoxy into the hole or a friction fit button with epoxy into the hole thus creating a surface with detectable warnings.
The first method described uses a two-ply sticker sheet. As stated above, the size of the sticker sheet is to be pre-made to fit perfectly on top of the concrete surface where detectable warnings are to be placed. The sticker sheet is first placed onto the surface by peeling off the paper backing to expose the sticky side and then adhering the sheet perfectly to the concrete. This will result in a surface with a mark in each spot that a detectable warning truncated dome is to be placed. Next, a hole is drilled at the spot of each mark, through the sticker and into the concrete. The drilling can be done using a tool suitable for drilling through concrete. The depth of the hole should correspond with the length of the elongated member on the button. The diameter of the hole needs to be big enough for the elongated member of the button to fit tightly inside but small enough to where the bottom of the truncated dome part of the button rests on top of the concrete surface. Once the holes are drilled and cleaned out, the top layer of the two-ply sticker sheet can be removed. This step results in an easy clean up of the debris left over from the drilling. Next, epoxy is inserted into the hole. The epoxy is to be of a type capable of adhering to both concrete and plastic. A button is then inserted into the hole before the epoxy has the chance to dry. Due to the adhering qualities of the epoxy, the size of the drilled hole, and the shape of the button a seal should be created that makes it virtually impossible for the button to come loose, even in extremely warm climates. The remaining layer of the sticker sheet is then removed making an easy cleanup of the epoxy that may have seeped out of the drilled hole when the button was inserted. The end result is a concrete surface with detectable warnings.
Another embodiment of our invention is to use the same method as above with a couple variations. The epoxy step is removed and the button inserted into the said drilled holes is of the friction fit variety. The epoxy step can be added at the end if it is found that, due to imperfections in the concrete, one or more buttons are not as secure in the concrete as preferred. The one-ply sticker is the most efficient way of using the friction fit method when it is determined that a limited amount, if any, of epoxy is necessary to make the friction fit buttons fit securely. However, a two-ply sticker sheet is also effective in the friction fit method. Therefore, we claim both variations.
Another embodiment of our invention is to eliminate the sticker sheet step completely. We call this the measure and drill method. To perform it, the installer measures the concrete surface manually and makes a mark on the surface in each spot where a detectable warning is desired. Then a hole is drilled directly into the surface at each said mark and a button inserted, either smooth or friction fit. Although the end result would be the same as the sticker sheet method, we do not feel that this is the best embodiment of the invention. However, it may be a more cost effective way of doing it if the installer fees that purchasing or creating a sticker sheet would not be necessary. This method leave more margin for error in that the surface is not protected from the drilling and any possible left over epoxy by the sticker sheet. However, careful installation may eliminate the need for this added protection.
Another embodiment of our invention found in the claims is the same method but allowing for broader limits on the shapes of the truncated dome tops of the buttons. We feel it is necessary to include this embodiment if this method is to be used on a surface that isn't covered under the ADA Accessibility Guidelines. Therefore, our claims encompass providing detectable warnings on concrete surfaces both covered and not covered under the ADA Accessibility Guidelines.
Another embodiment of our invention is that we are claiming not only the above described methods for giving concrete surfaces detectable warnings but also the product of these methods—the resulting surfaces themselves. This is meant to encompass any concrete surface containing detectable warnings in the form of individual buttons that have been placed into drilled holes in the surface. The buttons are to be fixed in the holes either through epoxy or a gripping texture on the buttons themselves.
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|U.S. Classification||404/15, 404/73, 404/19|
|International Classification||E01C11/24, E01F9/00, E01C23/09|
|Cooperative Classification||E01C11/24, E01C23/0993|
|European Classification||E01C23/09E, E01C11/24|