VIDEO - Centerline: The Surprising History of Lane Markings

VideoWe take the lines painted on our roads for granted today, but the first attempts at implementing them were met with resistance.  This short video on the history of lane markings is a study in the rapid effect of new technologies and the ability of a few people with a good idea to have a large impact.

Comments

Recent history, methinks!

That was an interesting presentation, on a subject dear to my heart. Kind of.

One thing that struck me, was that at one time on lighter hued road surfaces such as concrete, they would actually use black lines to separate lanes on US highways. This idea actually originated with the same folks who first conceived and created the freeway concept - the Germans, who created the autobahns.

But what really surprised me was to learn that the US only mandated using yellow center lines to separate traffic in opposite directions in 1971! Heck, that's the year I learned (as a 16-year old Canadian) how to drive; and I'm pretty certain that here in Canada we had already been doing this for some time.

It's a great concept that should be applied world-wide, this idea of using yellow lines to indicate 2-way highways. But now, it looks as though it may in fact be a great Canadian concept! I would be pleased to hear more input from folks of my age or older, and their recollections of the differences encountered when crossing the border into the US back then. Probably it's just as well that we all were using mph instead of kph at the time.

 

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