Saturday, January 17, 2009

How to solve the blocked road drain issue

One of the things that really impressed me about my visit to the UK in the fall of 2007 was their road markings. They don't use the plain old boring (and hard to see) markings we use here. For one thing, their lane and road edge markings make it very obvious where pedestrian crosswalks are (as seen in the picture, right).

Anyway, this glimpse into better methods of marking the roads got me thinking today. The snow is melted enough right now that you can see the lane markings in the middle of the major roads, but the snow and ice accumulation is such that most street drains are blocked. So as the stuff melts as is happening now in copious amounts, the melt water has nowhere to go. To make matters worse, even if the road crews intended to clear the snow from the drains, they'd have no way of knowing where they are located.

I have an idea. Along with the lane markings (the dashed white lines down the road), they should add little yellow triangles along the dashed lines to point to the location of the drains. This would make locating the drains quite a bit easier and allow folks to clear the snow and ice from them once things begin to melt. If the road does not have lane markings (such as on a residential street), the marking could go on the sidewalk (which is supposed to be clear anyway).

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