Although the number of cars grew dramatically during the first decade of the 20th century, driving in 1910 was often a hair-raising experience. Outside of major metropolitan areas, roads were often unpaved, and they seldom featured anything remotely akin to road markings or traffic signs. By 1920, asphalt striping had been introduced, but the procedure was typically only used to mark centerlines on short stretches of particularly dangerous pavements. These early markings were a patchwork of paint colors, line widths, and styles. Modern markings are more uniform, making it easier for drivers to recognize their meanings when driving from one city or state to another.
What Are the Types & Meanings of Pavement Markings?
What Types of Markings Do American Drivers Encounter Frequently?
Most types of markings use yellow or white paint to create lines that may be solid or broken. White paint is typically used for special symbols, including arrows and diamonds. Many road markings can also be part of a parking lot design, but their meanings are not necessarily the same when used in a parking lot as they are when used on a roadway.
What Do the Lines Painted on a Pavement Mean?
The meaning of a line depends on its location, color, and style. Both broken and unbroken lines may be either yellow or white.
• If a road without a center divider permits two-way traffic, a dotted yellow line is the centerline. Drivers on each side of the centerline should keep the line to the left of their vehicles. Either driver can pass if it is safe. Solid yellow lines indicate no-passing areas. However, if there is a dotted yellow line in your lane, you are allowed to pass, but it would be illegal for the oncoming driver to pass. If the center of the pavement has two solid yellow lines, neither driver is allowed to pass.
• Solid yellow lines on the left of the pavement can also be used to mark the edge of the median on a divided roadway or to indicate a one-way street. They are also frequently used by parking lot striping contractors to outline the parking stalls, especially on concrete pavements. However, parking stalls may also use white lines.
• On roadways having multiple traffic lanes, broken white lines indicate the boundaries of each travel lane that is moving in the same direction. One solid white line indicates that crossing it is discouraged, but two solid white lines mean that it is illegal to cross them.
• On an undivided two-lane road, a solid white line on the right side of your lane denotes a pavement edge or shoulder.
What Do the Symbols on Pavements Mean?
In most jurisdictions, pavement symbols are primarily painted in white. However, exceptions exist, including the handicapped symbols, which feature a blue background, and some interstate markings, which duplicate the red, white, and blue colors of the shield-shaped signs that bear the number of the interstate.
• Arrows painted on the surfaces of roads and parking lots provide information on whether drivers should turn left, go straight, or turn right. Sometimes, they indicate that the direction of travel is mandatory, but there are also arrows that indicate that the driver may choose a direction. For example, a marking with an arrow pointing left and an arrow pointing straight ahead indicates that drivers may either turn left or go straight.
• Diamonds are frequently used to identify lanes reserved for high-occupancy vehicles, also known as HOV lanes. The diamonds are typically white.
• Bicycles indicate the presence of cyclists. If the lane is also marked with two solid white lines, it means that the lane is for bicyclists only. Depending on the situation, the symbol without the double white lines can also warn of a bicycle crossing, or it may warn that the lane is frequently shared by cyclists.
There are many other pavement markings that can be used, and the experts at Asphalt Care Services are familiar with all of them. In addition to pavement markings, our paving services include parking lot striping, sealcoating, speed bump installations, asphalt repair, bollard installations, thermoplastic line striping, parking lot signage, and asphalt paving. We have an impeccable reputation for remarkable workmanship and attentive service. To request a free quote, simply complete our convenient online form. If you prefer, you can phone us. Call 772-888-2840 to reach our office in Hobe Sound, or call 561-855-1336 to reach our Palm Beach office.