Colored pavement isn’t something you see everyday. In fact, other than the white and yellow lines of the road and the occasional blue of a handicap parking space, you’re not likely going to see much variation in color past the greys, blacks and whites of the asphalt or pavement. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities!
Colored pavement in Utah is slowly coming to light as a smart and intuitive way to help get people to pay closer attention to the world around them. In fact, it’s being utilized in some very new and exciting ways throughout cities and towns, for a variety of reasons—everything from helping to improve public safety, to drawing attention to landmarks and attractions.
Let’s explore five of the ways colored pavement is being adopted and why adding a splash of color has improved these situations so profoundly:
- Bike and bus lanes: Cars and trucks often share the road with bicycles and busses… however it’s often that these latter modes of transportation need their own space. Recently, many municipalities have started to color bike and bus lanes with colored pavement, as a way of designating a special space for the people using them. Picture a regular gray road, with a green stripe for bicycles near the curb and a red-colored lane for busses towards the outside!
- No parking zones: Loading zones, fire hydrant placements and more are all very common “no parking” zones—there’s usually always a sign indicating this. Many cities have begun to add red segments in front of these areas as well, to reinforce the idea that parking there is prohibited. Not only is it a vibrant reminder, it’s also a physical one, showing people exactly where they cannot park, rather than relying on them to leave the appropriate space.
- Garage exits: Parking garages are a frequently-used amenity for many commuters. When you’re exiting the garage back into normal traffic, however, it can be a tricky transition. Not only do you have to avoid regular traffic, pedestrians might also be lurking out of sight. Adding color to parking garage exits lets everyone know to expect vehicles in that area during peak hours of the day.
- School zone crosswalks: School zones are areas of caution for drivers and pedestrians alike and both can benefit from colored pavement in Utah. Having colored crosswalks will encourage kids to pay attention to their surroundings and will alert drivers to the potential presence of children in the area. Using colors like red and green can also help to indicate stops and right of ways in these areas.
- Campus areas: Whether a university or corporate campus, having markers that indicate where the campus starts and stops in relation to its surrounding areas is important. Colored concrete can provide critical markers for people to let them know where they are, what’s nearby and where they are in relation to where they need to go. As an example, blue colored and stamped concrete with a school logo can mark the outermost corners of the campus.
The next time you take a walk around town, see if you can spot any areas of colored pavement or where colored pavement might be a useful innovation!
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