The Traffic Engineering Division maintains more than 1.5 million linear feet of pavement markings to help organize the movement of transit, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic. These include white and yellow lane lines, stop lines, turn symbols, and bike lanes, and are re-painted annually to help ensure the markings are visible and well maintained following winter snow removal efforts.
The striping season traditionally falls between May and October, and is heavily dependent on the weather. Optimal painting weather is warm and sunny (ideally 70 degrees, low humidity, with a breeze). Cooler temperatures prevent successful paint application. The City uses fast-drying, water-based paint. New paint is applied every year to address severe winter weather and the normal wear and tear of vehicles.
On average, the City uses approximately:
- 3,000 gallons of white paint
- 3,500 gallons of yellow paint
- 42,000 pounds of glass paint beads that reflect at night
Annually, the City paints on average approximately:
- 800 arrow markings
- 2,375 stop bars at stop signs, signals, and railroad crossings
- 140 railroad crossings
- 205 school crossings
- 1,250 pedestrian crossings
- 980,000 linear feet of yellow pavement markings (skip, solid yellow, and double solid yellow)
- 520,000 linear feet of white pavement markings (skip and solid white)
- 200,000 linear feet of bike lane markings (skip and solid white)
Traffic Control During Painting
The Public Works Department works to paint new lane lines as quickly and efficiently as possible. Due to the nature of how quickly the paint dries, it is not practical to set up extensive traffic control (cones, barricades, merge signage), as crews would spend more time setting out and picking up signage and cones than they would painting.
As lane lines are painted, two service vehicles slowly follow the paint truck and serve as “mobile barricades” to prevent vehicles from changing lanes and smearing freshly applied lane lines.
During the painting season, we appreciate motorists’ patience as well as reduced travel speeds when you see paint crews working.