Crosswalks get new stripes

August 01, 2001 11:00 pm

By The Observer

School children throughout Union County should be safer this fall, thanks to a new crosswalk striping process now being applied to streets near all schools.

Called Stimsonite Hot Tape, it is a plastic-like substance that is attached to the pavement with flame, said Patty Bundren, traffic safety program coordinator for the Oregon Department of Transportations northeast district.

Crosswalks in front of all the schools in Union County will be covered, Bundren said.

Besides being more visible to motorists approaching crosswalks, the material will last for two years, she said. The normal striping paint is not very visible after about a year, she said.

Bundren was successful in obtaining $8,000 in ODOT transportation safety grant funds to pay for the difference in what the normal striping paint and what the new material costs.

The effort to get the brighter material was put in motion when Gary Howland of the La Grande School District contacted the Union County Safe Communities Coalition about replacing the disappearing crosswalks. Matching funds or labor was provided by the City of La Grande Public Works Crew and from the cities of North Powder, Cove, Imbler, Union and Elgin, Bundren said.

La Grande city crews applied the material to local crosswalks. The ODOT striping and legend crew did the work in outlying cities.