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Zigzag for Pedestrians

Courtesy of Virginia Department of Transportation In the U.S., motorists are used to obeying straight painted lines along roads to guide them in driving...
by | May 7, 2009

Courtesy of Virginia Department of Transportation

In the U.S., motorists are used to obeying straight painted lines along roads to guide them in driving safely. In Loudoun County, Virginia, residents are adjusting to zigzag lines, painted as a lane divider or in the middle of the road. And yes, those lines were painted on purpose. The Virginia Department of Transportation painted zigzag lines as part of an experiment, supported by the Federal Highway Administration, to see if they will encourage drivers to slow down for pedestrians as they approach two mid-block trail crossings. VDOT got the idea to experiment with the zigzags from the U.K., where they are used as no-parking areas in order to give pedestrians a clear line of sight prior to crossing, and in Australia where they are used to warn drivers to slow down due to crossings they may not be able to see. The Loudoun County lines will remain on the ground for a year and, if successful, more zigzags could be painted at additional crossings.

Tina Trenkner
Tina Trenkner  |  Deputy Editor, GOVERNING.com
ttrenkner@governing.com  |  @tinatrenkner
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