Author Topic: Highway Lane markings  (Read 1161 times)

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PAL_Houston

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Highway Lane markings
« on: March 01, 2013, 06:52:34 PM »
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I just KNOW I've seen the answer to this out on the web somewhere, but I am confounded trying to find it again...

What were the standards for lane markings on federal highways during the (early) 1950's, like before Eisenhower got the Interstate system authorized?    For some reason I am thinking that they used a lot more white stripes for the middle-road divider back then...where now we use yellow?



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Paul

C855B

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Re: Highway Lane markings
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2013, 07:03:32 PM »
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Dashed white for passing zones on 2-lane highways; solid white, solid yellow or double yellow for no passing zones, depending on jurisdiction. Dashed yellow separating 2-lane roads came with standardization in the '60s.

2-lanes where only one side OK for passing was solid yellow and dashed white for the "legal" side.
...mike

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wcfn100

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Tom L

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Re: Highway Lane markings
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2013, 07:41:02 PM »
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 I looked at many photos from Minnesota historical Society digital collection, from the late Fifties, to get an idea what I should do on my roads.  Not sure what the "official" standards were then, but from the photos, I can tell you that in reality there was very minimal markings (especially compared to today).  Mostly just a white centerline.  I was surprised at how many photos showed nothing at all.

Search on Highway with the appropriate date range here;

http://www.mnhs.org/

Lots of great photos here, by the way. 

Tom L

Wellington CO

nkalanaga

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Re: Highway Lane markings
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2013, 01:57:56 AM »
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A lot of western roads used the dashed white everywhere, with a yellow line on one or both sides of it for no-passing zones.  If the white line was on your side you could pass, if the yellow you couldn't, and a yellow line on both sides meant no one could pass.  Oddly, they'd sometimes center the dashed and one yellow combination, other times the white line stayed centered with the yellow to one side.  Many of these lasted into the early 70s.
N Kalanaga
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rogergperkins

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Re: Highway Lane markings
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2013, 08:02:50 AM »
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In Illinois, the state roads generally had a black line down the center in 1940-50s.  I can remember hearing this phrase in regards to auto accidents, "He went to sleep behind the wheel and drifted over the BLACK line."  My layout is set in the 1940's, so for paved roads, I have used strip styrene painted with Polly S concrete and marked the center line with a #3 lead pencil.

 However, a google search lead me to this:
"It is not possible to ascertain where the first longitudinal pavement marking was first used in the U.S.  One publication indicates that in 1911 or 1912, the first lane marking was made just in side the entrance to a park in Cincinnati, where the most used roadway was narrow and many collisions had occurred (3).  However, it appears that Wayne County, Michigan (Detroit area) was one of the first areas to use centerlines on a widespread basis.  These early centerlines may have been used as early as 1911, but were certainly in place by 1922 (4).  Indio, California also makes a claim to the earliest centerline, with the first use dating back to 1924 (4).  At this time, there were few, if any, standards or guiding principals for markings.  Where those standards or guiding principles did exist, they were on a local level and there was no coordination between local agencies."

"The 1935 MUTCD defined markings for pavements, curbs, and objects.  Lines could be marked with construction joints, paint, or pavement inserts.  White, yellow, or black could be used, depending on which color would provide the greatest contrast.  Lines could be between four and eight inches wide.  Stripes and gaps were supposed to be equal in length and between 5 and 75 feet."

"The 1942 War Emergency MUTCD continued to allow the use of white, yellow, or black. However, the material indicated that white paint was rapidly replacing black paint for centerline applications.  This was particularly significant for blackout conditions, under which black markings were not visible.  Yellow was reserved for barrier lines and curb markings.  This MUTCD described the need for alternative yellow pigments so that chromium could be used to support the war effort.  Included was a statement that earth pigments should be used for yellow instead of converting barrier lines to white. "

Thanks for prompting me to check on this issue. For 28 years,  I worked for 3M, one of the current manufacturers for high lane marking material,  but I never had reason to check on this part of the history.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 08:16:11 AM by rogergperkins »

nkalanaga

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Re: Highway Lane markings
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2013, 01:48:16 AM »
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I remember seeing several roads with alternating black and white stripes, some of them within the last few years.  All were concrete, where the white didn't show well during the day, and black was invisible at night.  A black line on asphalt would seem to be a waste of money and paint... 

For a related detail, remember the day/night speed limit signs, with the day speed limit not reflectorized, so that only the night limit was visible in the dark?  The day sign was the usual black on white, while the night was white Scotchlight on a black background.
N Kalanaga
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rogergperkins

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Re: Highway Lane markings
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2013, 07:11:29 AM »
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SCOTCHLITE Brand Reflective Sheeting is used on various color for various type of highway signage.  There are also products for a variety of applied lane marking of the same brand name.

nkalanaga

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Re: Highway Lane markings
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2013, 12:42:15 AM »
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Here in Kentucky some of the center lines are reflective, but not Scotchlite or anything similar.  They actually haul barrels of small glass beads, about the size of coarse sand, to the striping site and mix it with regular road paint.  A small pile of the beads was left near our place the last time they striped US 60.  It lay there for several months before I became suspicious.  Here in eastern Kentucky anything loose will likely have grass growing on it or be washed away quicker than that.  A sample is now sealed in a large pill bottle in my supply of scenery products, although I have no idea what it might be good for.  It's not crushed glass, but smooth spheres, and looking straight at a pile it looks transparent.  But any beamed light, such as sunlight or a flashlight, is reflected back to the source.
N Kalanaga
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