Stressed out by disappearing highway lines? Here’s WHY they’re so crappy

By David F. Rooney

Ever feel dismayed when you drive the Trans-Canada Highway at night and you realize the lines that should be marking the lanes and the edge of the road have been worn away? Every feel frightened when that happens at night… in the rain?

Well, MLA Norm Macdonald feels your terror, too, as he expressed in a recent interview on RCTV’s In Conversation program hosted by Revelstoke Current Publisher David Rooney. He took a constituent’s letter to Todd Stone, BC’s transportation and infrastructure minister, and received this response on April 15:

“Although federal environmental regulations have required us to move away from the resilient acrylic paints we used in the past, the ministry and its contractors continue to test new types of paint and pavement marking technologies to find options that are more reflective, long lasting and environmentally safe. We are also installing shoulder and centreline rumble strips on many major routes to provide audible and tactile warnings when motorists begin to cross road lines. You may be pleased to hear that, under new contracts awarded this year, the ministry will be requiring our pavement marking contractors to use thicker paint in areas that experience greater wear, such as along provincial portions of Highway 1 between Golden and Sicamous, which will enhance the durability of these road markings.

“The “golden oatmeal” epoxy used in the Prince Rupert area is very effective, but the cost of these materials is prohibitively high for general use, even when considered against any increased durability. As such, these materials are used on short stretches of highway with poor visibility. By ensuring that we use the right material for the job, we help ensure taxpayers’ dollars go further, letting us complete more safety projects each year.”

So… now we know.

If you’d like to watch the entirety of my discussion with Madonald you can catch the program on Channel 6 today, Thursday, April 24, at 9 am and 5 pm and Friday, April 25, at 2 pm.

In the 45-minute program the popular NDP MLA talks about attempts to bring chemotherapy to Revelstoke, the crappy paint job on lane lines along the Trans-Canada Highway as well as the twinning project, the Agricultural Land Reserve and other issues.