KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

Ross: I declare this the year of the Cars and Stripes

Jan 10, 2024, 9:05 AM | Updated: 9:06 am

cars and stripes...

WSDOT didn't paint all of the stripes or over the stripes. They just added some orange paint to the stripes between lanes.(Photo from Chris Sullivan/KIRO Newsradio)

(Photo from Chris Sullivan/KIRO Newsradio)

No, I’m not talking about automotive patriotism; I’m talking about staying in your lane.

I do a pretty good job of staying in my lane once I get to work, but staying in my lane on the road is getting harder and harder.

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Number one: when it rains or when the sun is too bright, the ghost lanes in some spots are actually more visible than the real lanes. But number two: what’s really annoying is that even in clear weather, the actual lanes in some spots have long since faded into uselessness.

The worst spot in my travels, Edgar Martinez Drive eastbound past T-Mobile Park. The big S-curve at the beginning of Interstate 90: you’re merging with trucks, and you have no idea where the lanes are. Are there two lanes? Two-and-a-half? Three? Whose responsibility is it to merge? No clue.

I hereby volunteer to set up a work party to re-paint it. Twenty people, a few cans of reflective paint, I think we could do it in a day once the rain stops.

Another offender I ran across just yesterday was on the ramp to State Route 405 southbound out of Totem Lake. It looks like it’s two lanes wide, but there’s no stripe to confirm that, just the highway seam, which, as we know, can be anywhere these days.

And then, the ramp to northbound Interstate 5 from I-90, you come around that curve, and the lane markings look more like chalk on a driveway.

On dark mornings, you can see the brand new holding lanes for the ramp meters in the distance, glowing like runway lights, except there’s no air traffic controller to separate you from the other cars trying to land on the same runway.

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Without clearly marked lanes, you end up trying to read the minds of fellow drivers. Which is terrifying.

I will say it does provide an incentive to pray because, in many places, only God knows where the lanes are.

This is why I hope someone in authority will declare this coming summer the summer of Lane Love. A summer of big, fat, brightly-painted lanes.

We can do it. Sure, the ferries may be understaffed, and sure, the roads may be bleeding rebar, but at the very least, let us resolve that every lane will be painted.

And not with some lame recycled house paint, but with a robust coat of road glitter so sparkly and in-your-face that even the graffiti can’t compete. Cars and Stripes forever.

And if by some miracle you ever find those graffiti vandals, have them paint the lanes. That way, they’ll never fade.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: I declare this the year of the Cars and Stripes