Here are some of the changes you might notice along California’s highways
Californians spend a lot of time on the road, especially in the summer when we set out on vacation or head to the beach. But how well do you know those roads you traverse? Here’s a look at some of the more visible changes along California’s estimated 394,608 miles of lanes.
Marking the lines
You can find a stretch along the 5 freeway that shows the past and future of California’s roads. New, more reflective markers are replacing the old Botts dots.
Raised pavement markers are approximately 48 feet apart on a highway but vary in distance depending on the type of road or lane. At 65 mph, you would pass two markers 48 feet apart in less than a second.
The stripe on the left in the photo above is the newly required 6-inch-wide stripe.The stripe on the right has Botts dots, is 4 inches wide and will someday be replaced.Eventually, the entire state highway system will have 6-inch-wide striping. The new stripes may look like paint, but they are tape or thermal plastic embedded with glass beads.
The new striping is expected to enhance safety in challenging conditions as well as be a better guide for autonomous vehicles.
Sticking to it
You can’t tell at full speed, but if stuck in traffic you might be able to recognize tape on some sections of the road. Reflective tape is laid on the road, cut and then pressed to seal its adhesive backing. It might be white or yellow.
Cookies and alligators
A few other things you’ll see on California’s highways: