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Monday, April 18, 2011
Patrick Conrad, WSDOT communications, 206-440-4473
WSDOT to drivers: slow down and avoid fresh paint as striping season begins
SHORELINE – Did the wet winter fade the stripes along your favorite commute? It might be time for a makeover to brighten those yellows and whites and make your trips safer.
This week the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) kicks off its annual striping season with a reminder to drivers – watch for wet paint on Puget Sound-area highways.
From now until October, crews will lay down more than 4,500 miles of striping on both roadway and ramp lanes between the King/Pierce county line and the Canadian border. A fresh coat of reflective paint during the drier months makes it easier for drivers to see the road when the winter rains return.
“Next to snow and ice removal, striping is our top safety priority,” said Richard Lucero, WSDOT Assistant Superintendent for Traffic Maintenance and Operations. “Each gallon of paint contains thousands of tiny glass reflector beads to help increase visibility during dark, rainy conditions.”
Lucero reminds drivers to give striping crews plenty of room and to watch for “wet paint” signs on Puget Sound highways. Although WSDOT uses fast-drying, water-based paint, driving over fresh stripes or changing lanes behind a striping truck strips the reflectivity from the stripe and spatters paint onto the vehicles.
“Crews have a lot of striping to put down within a very short window of time,” Lucero said. “In most cases we will not be able to repaint stripes smeared by vehicles until spring 2012.”
What can drivers do to avoid wet paint?
- Watch for wet-paint-warning signs and trucks
- Do not change lanes near fresh striping
- Listen to traffic reports for information about when and where striping crews will be on the road
How will WSDOT warn drivers?
- Use warning signs and well-marked striping trucks
- Follow each striping truck with several warning trucks to alert drivers
- Post electronic message boards with “wet paint” warnings
- Post striping information on WSDOT’s travel alert website: www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/trafficalerts/
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