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Striped Street Stripes

banded lane lines to save paint
  [vote for,

To visualize this idea, fully extend your right arm in front of you at chin level and point to the left with your index finger. Now with your left index finger pointing right, raise it halfway between the chin and right hand until its upper surface “meets” the lower surface of the distant finger. In spite of the distance between them, the viewing angle and finger thickness cause them to merge into a continuous flesh colored swath.

In the same way, lane lines could be painted as stripes like parallel bands of toothpaste perpendicular to the road and still be seen as solid lines. Since drivers view highway markings at an acute angle, they could be painted as approx. 5 mm high blobs 5 cm apart and still appear to be ordinary 2 – 4 mm thick lane lines but use only ¼ to ½ as much paint. In addition, the forward edges of the stripes’ stripes should give a much more reflective surface at night.

I am aware of wider segmented, warning stripes on the edges of some roads for acoustical purposes and possibly for the added visual signal of seeing the gaps.

FarmerJohn, May 05 2004

Painting a Highway http://www.civil.bc...cts/hiwaypaint.html
[FarmerJohn, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Bott's Dots http://www.its.berk...fall99/genesis.html
California road reflectors [justaguy, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       While I admire this idea on technical grounds (use of the term "flesh colored swath" and the "¼" and "½" characters), I'm completely unable to understand it.
hippo, May 05 2004

       Aquafresh street stripes.
skinflaps, May 05 2004

       [hippo] A wide-toothed comb on the floor has a roughly rectangular shape like a road stripe or part of an endless lane line. By getting down on all fours and viewing it from one end, the teeth (road paint) merge and the openings (between road paint) vanish. Besides imagining a lane line from end-to-end white combs, you’ll provide entertainment for your colleagues.
FarmerJohn, May 05 2004

       You have my bread. This will help to tell people that they have crossed over a lane marking. The flaw I see is that instability may be given to motorcyclists passing over the lines. Some of the 'Slow' road markings are already bad enough.
silverstormer, May 05 2004

       "After much finger pointing and scientific blob analysis, the roads safety commission voted to disband on the argument that retooling the road painting machines would eat their entire budget for the year. "
dentworth, May 05 2004

       with much less paint being used it might become cost effective to use more luminescent(sp!) paint?
etherman, May 05 2004

       I'm a little worried, because with less paint, even if the lanes looked solid, wouldn't they be dimmer? In rain or fog, too dim to see clearly?   

       It almost makes luminescent paint a necessity.
phundug, May 05 2004

       I couldn’t disagree more. The reflected light from the raised stripes is coming from surfaces at a less obtuse angle than from that of the roadway and should increase the amount of light returned. In addition, each segment is imitating an area behind it to the next stripe and thus reflects light from a shorter distance – less fog and rain – than solid paint farther away.
FarmerJohn, May 05 2004

       I've seen something similar tried on a multi-lane on-ramp and off-ramp, but it wasn't with paint. It was a series of prism-shaped reflectors, white on one side and red on the other, set up at a distance so that they appeared continuous when viewed at an angle. When driving on the ramp in the correct direction, the reflectors appeared white, but when driving in the wrong direction (if you tried to enter via the off-ramp, hopefully accidentally) they were red.   

       The particular set of ramps was confusing as the off-ramp and on-ramp were close together on the same side of the road and poorly marked, leading to frequent accidents. The reflectors were effective in reducing the number of accidents, but they were deemed too expensive to use on all roads, as refreshing the reflective paint on a semi-annual basis was still far cheaper.   

       One downside of these reflectors (and this would probably apply to any longitudinally textured surface) was that the snowplows would tear them off every winter, leaving the roads covered in shards of sharp plastic (flat tire anyone?) and requiring annual replacement. Eventually, the reflectors were just eliminated and big "DO NOT ENTER" and "WRONG WAY" signs were put in their place.
Freefall, May 05 2004

       ...Which is why they have "Bott's Dots" in California and not on the East Coast. See link.
justaguy, May 05 2004

       Those line-painting trucks you see on the roads -- wouldn't it be difficult for them to drive back and forth painting lines exactly 5 cm apart?   

       Oh wait, nevermind.
booleanfool, May 05 2004

       I was thinking of Bott's Dots when I read this. They kinda do this sorta. The reason they have them in California is because Bott worked for CalTrans.   

       Pennsylvania and several other states use reflectors set into the pavement in slight wedge-shaped cuts so that the reflector can be seen from a distance but is flush with the road surface.
waugsqueke, May 05 2004


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