New Concordia study shows road safety could be enhanced by better roadway markings
As spring finally emerges after a ferocious winter, our battered roads will soon be re-exposed. While potholes and cracks might make news, a larger concern should be the deterioration to pavement markings, from yellow to white lines, which are a major factor in preventing traffic accidents.
A study from Concordia University, funded by Infrastructure Canada and published in Structure and Infrastructure Engineering, found that snowplows are the biggest culprit in erasing roadway markings.
The research team also examined the impact of salt and sand on the visibility of pavement markings. The conclusion: a simple switch in paint can save cars — and lives.
Using data from the Ontario and Quebec ministries of transportation and the municipalities of Montreal and Ottawa, Professor Tarek Zayed of Concordia’s Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering measured the relationship between materials used in pavement markings, and their age and durability.
He also compared highways with city roads, examined traffic levels and took note of the types of vehicles involved. Finally, Zayed and his research team examined marking types such as highway centre lines, pedestrian crosswalks and traffic intersections.
They found snowploughs to be the worst on roads because they literally scrape paint off the streets. “Snow removal is the major contributing factor to wear and tear on pavement markings, because when snow is pushed off the road, part of the markings is taken off too,” says Zayed.
What can improve the chances of pavement markings surviving the winter? Zayed suggests that an upgrade to more expensive and durable epoxy paint might be more cost effective in the long run. Other options include paint tape and thermoplastic, although these are quite expensive.
He also suggests wider use of a technical device called a retroreflectometer to help assess the paint’s reflectivity and resulting effectiveness. “In the U.S., this standard has been in place for almost a decade,” he says, adding that minimum standards for reflectivity are used to signal when a road must be repainted.
Zayed also says Canadian roads are in desperate need of more studies. For example, while epoxy is known to be a more durable paint, since it is not yet widely used in Ontario and Quebec, more research is needed to show exactly how it holds up to stressors like salt and snow removal.
While several studies have been conducted in the central and southern United States to compare and evaluate the durability of pavement markings, Zayed points out that the findings don’t translate very well given the strikingly different weather conditions between warm versus seasonal climates.
Partners in research: This study, funded by Infrastructure Canada, was co-authored by Emad Elwakil, Ahmed Eweda and Tarek Zayed, members of the Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering at Concordia University.
Learn more about Concordia’s Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science by checking out the latest edition of the faculty magazine.
Clea Desjardins | EurekAlert!
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences
05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering