Paint Striping and Pavement Markings

Paint Striping and Pavement Markings

'Paint striping' (which is part of the larger process of pavement marking) applies standard painted lines on the road. These lines include center lines, lane lines, edge lines (sometimes referred to as a fog line), and wide lines (sometimes referred to as a gore line).

Paint is used alone or with buttons and reflectorization. Paint or other durable materials are also used for markings other than lines (stripes). Stop bars, crosswalks, and arrows are examples of pavement markings.

According to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), "the application of markings is more than a matter of placing lines on the roadway. It is, in effect, the installation of a traffic regulating system on a highway."

In order to be effective, the system of markings must be consistent.
Striper painting road lines

Selecting Roads for Paint Striping

As recommended by national standards, we have established guidelines for the varying degrees of paint striping for different types of roads. Consistent paint striping throughout the county makes it easier for drivers to understand and follow traffic regulations.

Major arterials receive the 'full treatment' of:
  • Center lines
  • Lane lines
  • Edge lines (if there is no curb or raised edge)
  • Buttons (also referred to as raised pavement markers or 'turtles')
Secondary and collector arterials receive center lines with a lesser complement of other striping and buttons. Local roads do not receive any paint striping.

More Striping Doesn't Mean Slower Drivers

Giving drivers more information (like center lines, edge lines, and lane lines) makes them feel more comfortable with the road. When motorists feel comfortable with the road they are driving, they tend to increase speed.

A lack of center line or edge line on a road, cautions drivers to lower their speed.
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Tacoma Mall Plaza
2702 S 42nd St, Suite 109
Tacoma, WA 98409