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Zig-zag lines being painted on purpose

April 20, 2009 - 12:36pm

 

Zig-zag lines being painted in Loudoun. (VDOT) Adam Tuss, wtop.com

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.

 

"It is a low cost strategy to get motorists to slow down as they approach the bike trail and pedestrian path," says VDOT's Mike Salmon. "While at first motorists may be a little disoriented, the main point is to get them to pay attention and slow down through that area."

 

There are plans to also paint the crooked lines on Sterling Boulevard where it intersects with the W&OD trail.

 

VDOT says similar programs have been successful in the United Kingdom and Australia. The transportation agency will study the zig-zagging lines for a year and see if they actually reduce speeds.

 

If the lines prove effective, you can expect to see more of them on the ground.

 

(Copyright 2009 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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