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Old 04-21-09, 01:12 PM   #1
ritepath
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Zig-zag lines being painted on purpose

LOUDOUN -- Behind the wheel, you want the least amount of distraction possible. So why is a local transportation agency painting crooked lines on the road on purpose?

The Virginia Department of Transportation says it's part of a safety campaign to get drivers to slow down in a high pedestrian and bicycle area. The 500 feet of zig-zagging lines are painted on the ground on Belmont Ridge Road, where it intersects with the Washington and Old Dominion trail in Loudoun County

http://www.wtop.com/?sid=1654423&nid=732


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Old 04-21-09, 01:14 PM   #2
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Sorry but VDOT is wierd. Why else would it be the state with the least sholders - just narrow paved lane right up to the ditch.

Joe
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Old 04-21-09, 01:19 PM   #3
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the state with the least sholders - just narrow paved lane right up to the ditch
Is this accurate, or did you make it up? I've never seen any shoulders here in Ohio either.
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Old 04-21-09, 01:30 PM   #4
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common in England
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Old 04-21-09, 02:27 PM   #5
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common in England
In the middle of the lane or zig-zag left and right 'fog lines'? I've often seen the later in England but not the middle placement.
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Old 04-21-09, 03:04 PM   #6
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In the middle of the lane or zig-zag left and right 'fog lines'? I've often seen the later in England but not the middle placement.
not enough pavement to operate that big-ass paint machine on the fog line?

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Old 04-21-09, 10:37 PM   #7
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I've never seen the zig zags, but my city uses a variety of "traffic calming" methods for the same purposes, almost all of which are more costly to implement than striping.

One thing we have is "speed humps," high spots in the pavement that, if built right, can be crossed comfortably at 25mph but are real rough at 40. They're marked with a series of wide cross stripes at decreasing intervals to give the illusion of higher speed. The humps are good on a bike because they're a lot longer than a bike wheelbase so they don't feel rough.

Another thing we have is intentionally narrowed lanes. The actual travel portion of the lane stays the same but the curbing will cut in from a wide shoulder to right at the fog line to give the impression that there's not enough room. These aren't so great for cyclists who have been enjoying the separation the shoulder affords.

We also have ccouple of places where the streets have been changed to one-way just to make a route less convenient, and some traffic circles to keep folks looking. All this in an effort to reduce motor vehicle speeds in residential areas. I bet our traffic guys wil be following the zig zag experiment around the crosswalks.
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Old 04-21-09, 11:01 PM   #8
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The zig-zags in the middle of the lane are identicle to those used throughout Australia to signify an approaching pedestrian crossing, just as the case is in the picture the OP posted.

They are a good idea and they work. When you are used to them being there you don't consciously look at them, get distracted, and say "Wow - there's a zig-zag line all other the road". Rather you subconsciously recognize them and just know that a pedestrian crossing is coming up.

Kind of like arrows painted on the road at intersections - you don't get distracted by them, you just subconsciously know that if your car is in a lane with an arrow you have to turn in that direction, as opposed to travelling straight through.
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Old 04-22-09, 12:57 AM   #9
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psssh... lame.
i suggest we just limit cars motors to 30mph max... thats way easier and cost effective.
and perform mandatory surgery on everyone to re-activate the human compassion sector of the brain.

--even if you put in huge speed bumps (in my experience) it doesn't slow down drivers.
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Old 04-22-09, 02:01 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by joeprim View Post
Sorry but VDOT is wierd. Why else would it be the state with the least sholders - just narrow paved lane right up to the ditch.

Joe
Hilo, Hawaii too. They are doing the zig-zag just before some stops at schools and high tourist locations.
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Old 04-22-09, 03:01 AM   #11
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I hope it works. That is one of theeeee worst road crossings on the W&OD trail. There is way more traffic on that road than it was originally intended to carry, and cars go past there way over the speed limit. NONE of them slow down, let alone stop, for folks in the crosswalk.
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Old 04-22-09, 01:21 PM   #12
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psssh... lame.
i suggest we just limit cars motors to 30mph max... thats way easier and cost effective.
um...no, both politically and logistically.
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Old 04-22-09, 02:33 PM   #13
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I hope it works. That is one of theeeee worst road crossings on the W&OD trail. There is way more traffic on that road than it was originally intended to carry, and cars go past there way over the speed limit. NONE of them slow down, let alone stop, for folks in the crosswalk.
Agreed. Up until a few years ago, you could cross this with barely even slowing down there were so few cars. Now, it's not even an option. I've waited while ten or twelve cars pass through in both directions. I think it's a 45mph road, but with the trail being in a bit of a valley there I'm sure cars are often going a lot faster.

I went through there last weekend and saw the zig-zag lines. If they help, that's great. I really can't see how they would hurt in any way. Having driven that road and knowing where the crossing is, it is still a bit hard to see as you come up and over the hill from the south so I think the lines will be good.

Two weekends ago, before the lines, a State or Loudoun County Trooper was handing out speeding tickets at that point (). Although I had to laugh a bit because he had one of the cars pulled over on the shoulder right across the W&OD trail crossing.

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Old 04-22-09, 03:11 PM   #14
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Hilo, Hawaii too. They are doing the zig-zag just before some stops at schools and high tourist locations.
They're zig-zagging the white lines on either side of the lane at stop signs and some crosswalky things so that people notice them more. Nothing in particularly to do with tourists or schools - they're all over town and will probably become a standard marking. With the dim yellow street lights, rain, unrestrained vegetation, black surfaces and undulating topography here it's often very difficult to see lines, signs and intersections at night. They make approaching stop signs a bit easier to anticipate.
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Old 04-22-09, 03:35 PM   #15
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There is way more traffic on that road than it was originally intended to carry, and cars go past there way over the speed limit.
How does that happen? In my experience, when the first condition exists; the second cannot.
See also 405 or 91.
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Old 04-22-09, 09:12 PM   #16
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um...no, both politically and logistically.
sorry, i guess you need this: http://www.sarcasmdetector.com/

anyways taking car infrastructure AWAY has proved to be very beneficial for the communities that have done this...
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