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The Dali-esque Road Stripes!

 
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Pinlight_DukeOffline
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PostPosted: 18-01-2014 09:52    Post subject: The Dali-esque Road Stripes! Reply with quote

Okay, this one's not so serious and terrifying, or maybe not even Fortean, just one of those weird little incidents that happens in your life to make you always wonder, WTF?

Years ago - I was about 21 or 22 when this happened - I was making a road trip with my then-boyfriend. We were driving from Kansas to Texas. In fact because of our jobs we often made road trips all around the southern USA. We used to drive through the night to take advantage of the empty highways. One of us would sleep while the other drove, and we'd spell each other off every couple of hours.

In this particular night I happened to be driving, and my boyfriend was asleep. We were on a two-lane country highway with farmland on either side. It was the middle of the night and ours was the only vehicle on the road, quite common.

While driving I began to notice that the lines painted on the road sometimes veered off to one side or another, or looked wobbly. This is also pretty common, something you see from time to time, so I didn't think much of it. However as the miles passed, the lines started to get really odd, going all the way to the side of the road and into the bushes, coming back into the road again. Some of the "dotted lines" were just willy-nilly all over the road and appeared to be folded over themselves like stickers or tape. Then at one point the dotted lines went over to the side of the road and were draped over shrubbery and fences, just hanging off of them exactly like something from a Dali painting. At this point I couldn't believe my eyes and woke up my boyfriend. We both then observed these crazy all-over-the-place lines for several miles, it wasn't just a little mistake in the road but a full-on road-striping acid trip disaster. The lines looked like they had been shot out of a gun all over the place like confetti.

Then abruptly the lines went straight again and everything was quite normal. Just regular old yellow lines in a country highway.

I've been looking up how they paint the lines on the highway and I see the lines are sort of sprayed on with a machine quite close to the ground. I guess what happened was the machine malfunctioned and hilarity ensued? Or perhaps it was a spray-happy line-painter? Very Happy

Ever have one of those "WTF did I just see" moments like this?
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gncxxOffline
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PostPosted: 18-01-2014 17:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe the line painter was thinking, "Ah well, nobody drives along here much, I may as well have some fun"?
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RyoHazukiOffline
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PostPosted: 18-01-2014 18:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the roads my parents used to drive along once a month (when visiting grandparents) had a perfectly stencilled pair of scissors on the middle line. They'd been painted with the same kind of paint as the line itself, which always made me chuckle.
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HenryFortOffline
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PostPosted: 18-01-2014 21:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

in these days of google street view and world these should be easily locatable ( that word looks wrong )

there was for a while a street corner of the city centre in Manchester near albert square right around the corner from the police station where there were 4 parallel yellow no parking lines ( maximum is 2 ) i got a photo as i recall ... just for laughs
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MythopoeikaOffline
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PostPosted: 18-01-2014 21:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re the original post - for some temporary road-lining, I think I've heard that instead of spraying the lines with a machine, they just stick down plastic strips. This may have been done here, and the strips came away from the road...perhaps?

http://solutions.3m.co.uk/wps/portal/3M/en_GB/TrafficSafety/Systems/-/RoadMarkings/TemporaryLineMarking/
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EnolaGaiaOffline
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PostPosted: 18-01-2014 22:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if they still do this, but ...

Yes - at least as early as the 1970's some places experimented with tape as an alternative to spray-painting. As I recall, the line segments were a heavy-duty plastic (whatever ...) that was bonded to the asphalt with heat from a blowtorch device.

I've occasionally seen isolated strips or clumps scattered wildly, but never for the extended distance mentioned in the original post.
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Pinlight_DukeOffline
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PostPosted: 19-01-2014 01:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

HenryFort wrote:
in these days of google street view and world these should be easily locatable ( that word looks wrong )

there was for a while a street corner of the city centre in Manchester near albert square right around the corner from the police station where there were 4 parallel yellow no parking lines ( maximum is 2 ) i got a photo as i recall ... just for laughs


I'd be shocked if the stripes have remained as I saw them for the last 16 or 17 years. It seems likely someone would have come along and fixed them long ago. Also, I wouldn't for the life of me be able to tell you exactly where I saw them. On a country road somewhere between Kansas and Texas is about all I remember. I don't even know which state it was in, let alone which township. Back then we didn't have Google street view and even if we did I'm not sure it would have been something I'd think to look up, just gave us a bit of a laugh and a head shake at the time, particularly since we were both big old potheads and that is just the sort of thing a pothead appreciates! The weird things in life. If it had happened nowadays you can bet I'd have stopped the car for photos!

Mythopoeika wrote:
Re the original post - for some temporary road-lining, I think I've heard that instead of spraying the lines with a machine, they just stick down plastic strips. This may have been done here, and the strips came away from the road...perhaps?

http://solutions.3m.co.uk/wps/portal/3M/en_GB/TrafficSafety/Systems/-/RoadMarkings/TemporaryLineMarking/


Yes, I remember thinking at the time that this is exactly how road stripes must have been put on and that whoever had been applying them had gone a little mental with the task. I don't think paint would have had the effect I'd seen of actual strips being folded over themselves or hanging off of things. Perhaps long hours of putting striping down on country roads might lead to a bit of unhinging for some people! Certainly led me to wonder if I was coming unhinged after many lonely hours at the wheel.
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MercuryCrestOffline
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PostPosted: 24-01-2014 17:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that this is awesome and fascinating and I hate to be the wet blanket, but have you considered road hypnosis?

Is there any chance that you, well, fell asleep with your eyes open?

I just have to ask, as no one's brought it up yet.
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LimelightOffline
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PostPosted: 25-01-2014 14:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

MercuryCrest wrote:


Is there any chance that you, well, fell asleep with your eyes open?



That was my first thought, but the fact that the boyfriend observed it too casts doubts on that theory.
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Pinlight_DukeOffline
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PostPosted: 26-01-2014 09:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

MercuryCrest wrote:
I think that this is awesome and fascinating and I hate to be the wet blanket, but have you considered road hypnosis?

Is there any chance that you, well, fell asleep with your eyes open?

I just have to ask, as no one's brought it up yet.


I definitely wasn't asleep, and I can be as sure of that as you are of the fact that you're not sleeping right now (meaning, a reasonable person could assure themselves of this by all the normal means), and my boyfriend witnessed the same thing, so it wasn't a hallucination. In fact one of the reasons I woke him up was to make sure I wasn't breaking up after too many hours on the road. I didn't think I was, but the idea was disturbing enough that I had to be sure.

We were actually quite experienced road-trippers due to our line of work, and put a lot of effort into driving safely and alertly. One of the reasons for driving in shifts and sleeping in shifts was to make sure we didn't fall asleep while driving. Driving while sleepy is more dangerous than driving while drunk, and I take that very seriously.
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MercuryCrestOffline
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PostPosted: 30-01-2014 20:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops. I missed that your boyfriend saw it too. Embarassed

At any rate, my contribution clearly doesn't explain anything so I will merely be observing this thread through binoculars, far away...maybe hiding in a bush. Very Happy

EDIT: Wow, I'm off today. I had to remove an entire paragraph because I hadn't re-read what I had posted above. So sorry, all.
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Pinlight_DukeOffline
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PostPosted: 13-02-2014 09:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

MercuryCrest wrote:
Oops. I missed that your boyfriend saw it too. Embarassed

At any rate, my contribution clearly doesn't explain anything so I will merely be observing this thread through binoculars, far away...maybe hiding in a bush. Very Happy

EDIT: Wow, I'm off today. I had to remove an entire paragraph because I hadn't re-read what I had posted above. So sorry, all.


Don't hide in a bush, lest you get blasted with crazy road stripes! Wink

We all have our off-days - unlike yours, though, my embarrassing internet posts are usually angry rants in response to something I have utterly misunderstood, and can't be erased. Ahhh, internet, what a bruising I've given my ego over you.
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EnolaGaiaOffline
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PostPosted: 13-02-2014 17:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

What time of year was it when you saw the stripe weirdness?

If it was winter, it might well have been that a snowplow had distorted or scraped loose a stretch of plastic road striping. This is a known problem with laid-on road marking materials.
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Pinlight_DukeOffline
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PostPosted: 16-02-2014 00:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

EnolaGaia wrote:
What time of year was it when you saw the stripe weirdness?

If it was winter, it might well have been that a snowplow had distorted or scraped loose a stretch of plastic road striping. This is a known problem with laid-on road marking materials.


Middle of summer, though we didn't usually get snow down south in those days anyway. Certainly not the case now, from what I hear!
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 16-02-2014 01:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

One possible explanation for the crazy stripes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxuRRauvhXw Laughing
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