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Thread: Pavement Marking Lines

  1. #1
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Pavement Marking Lines

    Lots of "letters to the editor" in our local paper regarding how soon new pavement lines fade or disappear. Think we have seen our last snow fall, but the center and side lines on almost all roads are now almost non-existent. Really a problem for me driving at night, even if not confronted with rain or fog. Clearly, it is those guys running the snowplows (and we greatly thank them for keeping our roads open) that are also ruining the road lines. My question is if anyone in Canada or the northern US states have road lines that last a year or more. (If you live where it seldom snows, no need to reply to our problem.)

    Clearly re-painting lines is expensive - I saw one estimate of $7000 per kilometer, but the savings in crashes avoided greatly exceeded that number. So, if you live anyplace where snowplowing is frequent and your lane lines survive over the winter, please tell us where you live and, if possible, a way of contacting who is responsible for the decision on how lane marking is done.

    Good road lines (except when they are covered in snow) really do save lives. If somebody has figured that out, it really needs to become common knowledge. It certainly isn't now.
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  2. #2
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    Southern NH here. And yes they fade away quickly here. Given the driverless car tech that is coming down the road (no pun intended - but it works!) they will either have to get out early each spring to refresh or find some other type of paint.

    Side roads that have lines in my Town are usually done every three years.

  3. #3
    Rally Rat
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    Cool

    Wisconsin checking in here.

    I just finished a two-day job last week of painting a new Basic Rider Course range at Road America. The painting company I work with is great - technically savy, fair-priced and efficient. Nevertheless, 12 hours of high-quality paint (Diamond Vogel), labor and expertise ran $1,500. Painting can be expensive.

    As for durability, side roads might last two seasons, but on major roads and interstates, the ravages of winter demand that those lines be 'refreshed' each spring.

    I agree with you - those reflective markings really are life-savers for traffic - especially for motorcycles!

  4. #4
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCKRider View Post
    My question is if anyone in Canada or the northern US states have road lines that last a year or more. (If you live where it seldom snows, no need to reply to our problem.)
    The answer is yes. There are different types of paint used. Latex (water based) lasts the shortest, maybe a year. Epoxy is good for at least two years, perhaps three. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road_surface_marking You get what you pay for when it comes to pavement markings.

    Policy in Region One of New York: https://www.dot.ny.gov/regional-offi...Striping_0.pdf



    Harry
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  5. #5
    '99 '03 '06 National Co-Rally Chair Friedle's Avatar
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    Pavement markings

    Quote Originally Posted by nhhandyman View Post
    Southern NH here. And yes they fade away quickly here. Given the driverless car tech that is coming down the road (no pun intended - but it works!) they will either have to get out early each spring to refresh or find some other type of paint.

    Side roads that have lines in my Town are usually done every three years.
    If driverless cars are going to have a problem with obscured pavement markings how will they be able t operate when the roads are snow covered or on secondary roads that do not have any pavement lines? How about urban enviroments like Boston or NYC ? Non existing pavement markings are the least of the problems with driverless cars. I worry more about the idiot drivers in cars. You can't fix stupid.

    Friedle
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  6. #6
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    It's a lot more than "markings".
    Thermoplastic works the best but it's not only complicated to install, the road base needs to be suitable in relation to the freeze/thaw cycles of the road.....and traffic disruption. The fast dry water based is usually a choice for municipalities as it can be put down fast and the drying time is so rapid, no traffic cone placement and pick up is needed. As in many things, it seems like the commitment of the installer is important.
    I'm not familiar with the epoxy that Harry mentioned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Friedle View Post
    If driverless cars are going to have a problem with obscured pavement markings how will they be able t operate when the roads are snow covered or on secondary roads that do not have any pavement lines? How about urban enviroments like Boston or NYC ? Non existing pavement markings are the least of the problems with driverless cars. I worry more about the idiot drivers in cars. You can't fix stupid.

    Friedle
    I totally agree. I can't see them functioning in a 'point a to point b' situation without a driver having to assist for a very long time.

    Ah but wait, the Batmobile did it! Holy tech-before-its-time Batman (the campy TV show that is...)

  8. #8
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    It's coming back to me...we had a striping contract every year in our Region. It would cover one third of the Region, and involved mostly epoxy long lines done by a striping contractor. So it is apparent that the expected lifespan of epoxy lines was three years.

    We also had a local State forces striping crew that did state touring routes with latex paint, with a one-year life expectancy as I recall.

    Harry
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  9. #9
    Registered User wbrownell9's Avatar
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    Thermoplastic can get slippery when wet, though, which adds a whole different type of danger. At the risk of hijacking the thread, I'd mention that crosswalks are getting more and more "fill" and consequently more dangerous. First it was wide stripes, then it was wider stripes, now it's really wide stripes with borders. So in the area of a crosswalk less than half of the actual "pavement" is pavement, the rest is plastic. And the borders make it so you CANNOT avoid going over the plastic, you can't even thread between the stripes to stay on good pavement.

    Plus in my area they're starting to put yield lines (a row of triangles, yield sign shapes, get it?) before the crosswalk. And of COURSE the gaps betwen the triangles don't align with the gaps in the crosswalk lines.
    2020 R1250 GSA Low

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by wbrownell9 View Post
    Thermoplastic can get slippery when wet, though, which adds a whole different type of danger. At the risk of hijacking the thread, I'd mention that crosswalks are getting more and more "fill" and consequently more dangerous. First it was wide stripes, then it was wider stripes, now it's really wide stripes with borders. So in the area of a crosswalk less than half of the actual "pavement" is pavement, the rest is plastic. And the borders make it so you CANNOT avoid going over the plastic, you can't even thread between the stripes to stay on good pavement.

    Plus in my area they're starting to put yield lines (a row of triangles, yield sign shapes, get it?) before the crosswalk. And of COURSE the gaps betwen the triangles don't align with the gaps in the crosswalk lines.
    Transportation officials and local public works officials seldom consider motorcyclists in their decisions. They should, but don't. These are precisely the types of things the AMA and other so-called interest groups ought to be pursuing instead of nonsense about helmets breaking necks and loud pipes saving lives.
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  11. #11
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Shouldn't it be helmets save lives and loud pipes can get your neck broken?
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  12. #12
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    In areas in California they have painted lanes green for cars and bikes, I can attest it's slippery as snot when wet. Also because of the CRAZY laws regarding paint in California your lucky to get 6 months before some lines need repainting

  13. #13
    '99 '03 '06 National Co-Rally Chair Friedle's Avatar
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    Pavement markings

    Quote Originally Posted by wbrownell9 View Post
    Thermoplastic can get slippery when wet, though, which adds a whole different type of danger. At the risk of hijacking the thread, I'd mention that crosswalks are getting more and more "fill" and consequently more dangerous. First it was wide stripes, then it was wider stripes, now it's really wide stripes with borders. So in the area of a crosswalk less than half of the actual "pavement" is pavement, the rest is plastic. And the borders make it so you CANNOT avoid going over the plastic, you can't even thread between the stripes to stay on good pavement.

    Plus in my area they're starting to put yield lines (a row of triangles, yield sign shapes, get it?) before the crosswalk. And of COURSE the gaps betwen the triangles don't align with the gaps in the crosswalk lines.
    Not sure about your area, but NY State seems to be very fond of those crosswalk striping with the reflective glass beads. Granted they show up well at night, but are slippery as hell when wet. There are 4 institutes of higher education within 10 miles of me with lots of these crossings. One school where breathing is the primary entrance requirement; one with primarily a brilliant, but unaware of the real world student body; another thinking about their stomachs and taste buds; and another wondering if it is happy hour yet. A gross generalization, maybe, but the point being that the students are not really benefiting from these glass beads as much as motorcyclists suffer from them. Plus, I rarely cross the street on my bike from between parked cars.


    Friedle
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  14. #14
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    This may well tie into a discussion I had many years ago with a client of mine that is a major road builder.

    I asked the question of why roads in my area (Nova Scotia) needed to be patched every year or two and often repaved or major work is done within 3-4 years. The response was:
    Who sets out the specifications for the roads? The Government.
    How often do they hold elections? Every four years.

    So, governments tend to spec out work that will last for something shorter than their elected term. Thereby ensuring that they are seen to be paving and "improving" things just before the next election.

    I suspect some of that is at work with road markings as well. Most things can be built to last based on the amount of time and money one wants to spend. If you spec out 3 years than you've spent less money (run less of a deficit, etc.) and are seen to be fixing things.

    Don't know how long pavement markings might be able to last if done for longevity, but I do know that roads can easily be built to last much longer than they typically are. Several years ago my client entered into a 30 year contract to build and maintain a divided highway in New Brunswick, one of Canada's heavier snowfall areas (twice as much snow per year as Prince George BC - and significantly more than Fairbanks, Juno, or Anchorage, Alaska or Buffalo, NY or Denver, Co).

    That highway is 4.5 years old now and the surface and lines are still in good shape. Why? Because it is cheaper to build in durability if your contract is for 30 years (the road builder) than it is if your contract is for 4 years (government).
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    In Wisconsin, rumble strips are now being put in the center line as well as the fog line.
    If the paint were applied in the rumble strips, it would be below the reach of the plows.
    Also as I drive through several construction zones, when the lanes are moved around, the old lane markers are ground out to remove the paint, leaving a shallow groove that shows up very well in the rain. They actually show up better than the new painted lines. This makes for some pucker moments, but after all the construction is over, if they would do a shallow grind and paint it, I think it would show up better in rain and last longer. Just my thoughts and hope this is of some help to you.

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