Mr Clean’s Magic Eraser hits Downtown streets

Installing the separated bike lane (SBL) on Laurier Street downtown was a new experience, with lots of little details to figure out. Fortunately Laurier had just been resurfaced, so City staff had a clean slate to work with. Less aesthetically, the lines were painted on the street, changed slightly, repainted, shifted again, repainted… leaving a rather confusing mess.

At the last minute, just in time for the SBL opening,  work crews painted over the ‘wrong’ lines with black paint. This was obviously a short term fix, since the first thing to wear off would be the black paint, revealing the white lines again, which would take even longer to wear off. In the picture above, note the dual stop lines, the multiple cross walk lines, and the ever-lasting little dashes they put down to show the crews where to paint the real lines which somehow wear off much faster than the guide lines.

So here we are midwinter, and the black paint has worn off. The above pic is just a week or two old. But since then Mr Clean has arrived in Ottawa (no, not Larry of Spic and Span fame). Using his Magic Eraser ™, in this case an asphalt grinder, he removed many of the false lines:

And here’s a close up of the bit of cross walk ring left behind after cleansing:

Motorists on cross streets can actually feel these groves if they are braking, so they might have some collateral benefit of improving stopping distances, to the (theoretical) benefit of cyclists on the SBL.