Fixing the Fade: Davenport Crews Looking at Street Striping Opti - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Fixing the Fade: Davenport Crews Looking at Street Striping Options

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TJ O'Hare sums up what a lot of drivers are telling us, "For the  most part, they're a little bit faded, so it's kind of hard to see them most of the time." Hard to see stripes on the streets during the day, and even more difficult at night. "It's hard to stay in your lane," O'Hare says. "You know, 'cuz you never really know where you're going." And in any kind of weather, it can get worse. "When it's raining, it's really hard to tell," Audrey Porth tells us. Because a lot of these lane lines just don't reflect like they used to.

Brian Buesing sees it. He says, "I think they should be painted a little better so you can see 'em. That might help." They will be. The city's Public Works Director tells us contractors paint every street in the city twice a year, in the Spring and Fall. And they tackle State Routes like River Drive, Kimberly, Brady and Harrison in the Spring as well, using paint that meets Transportation specs. It has small glass beads in it that reflect.

Public Works Director Mike Clarke says, "It is less expensive than the high grade thermoplastics that you may have seen in some advertisements that really pop out and say wow." He says Davenport's latex paint is not lower quality, but it is less expensive, costing the city about $80,000 a year. While thermoplastics can last up to three years, they can also cost up to a dollar more per foot. So they'll still cost more over that three year period.

And they can come with other problems. "You have a higher profile," Clarke says. And it's not paint. It's a thermal plastic application, where you take a strip and you actually heat it onto the surface of the road." He says that's a concern for cars that could twist it, or plow blades that could catch it and peel it up. And adding grooves to the road to lower the profile would also add to the cost.

At this point, Clarke says for those concerned about the current fast fade, "I don't think there's anything in between." Although he tells us he continues to look for it and continues to watch the newest technologies. We're told the lines have not been responsible for serious accidents, but everyone we've talked to tells us it's easier to avoid fender benders and close calls if the lines are clear. They will be as painting gets underway in the next two weeks.
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