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Development & Transportation

PennDOT Uses New Lane Markings

Motorists traveling Pennsylvania's state highways are starting to see new warnings painted on the pavement. The goal is to improve safety at intersections and sharp curves.

PennDOT is painting the word "SLOW" on the roadway as they approach tight curves. The marking is then followed by an arrow to alert motorists which way the road is turning, said PennDOT District 11 safety officer Steve Cowen.

In places where a state highway crosses another smaller road at a "non-signalized" intersection, "SLOW" will once again be painted on the pavement but rather than following it with an arrow, drivers will see a "+" leading up to the intersection. Depending on the speed limit, a second "+" marking will be placed between 45 and 265 feet before the intersection.

Cowen said the markings will often be used in conjunction with advanced, oversized warning signs. "The Department is trying to implement as many safety features as possible, this is a low cost safety feature… to let motorists realize there is an upcoming intersection," said Cowen.

PennDOT research estimates that the implementation of sign and marking improvements can reduce crashes by 25% at a given intersection or curve.

In all, PennDOT District 11 will invest nearly $1 million in low cost safety improvements this year. Other improvements include cable median barriers, the removal of vegetation for better sight lines, and rumble strips along the edge of the pavement.