Thanks for the paint, how about a little more
We would be egregiously remiss were we not to recognize a remarkable bit of public works road improvement recently completed on a stretch of local asphalt about which we have been perhaps annoyingly nagging for at least the last two years.
The location is the intersection of Arnold Drive and Highway 12 at the northeastern entrance to Glen Ellen where, for longer than we can remember, the striping demarcating the lanes and defining the edges of Arnold Drive, for vehicles turning in off Highway 12, had faded into oblivion.
We have made considerable note of the fact that, since Caltrans completed a total re-engineering of the curve containing that intersection more than a year ago, the striping installed by state workers did not connect with the vestigial remains of the almost invisible county stripe leading motorists south into Glen Ellen. At the same time, the white line defining the edge of the roadway – and thus keeping motorists out of a ditch alongside it, had disappeared entirely. That was a notable nighttime hazard for vehicles turning off 12, because for a critical 50 to 100 feet it was almost impossible to tell where the road went without slowing to a hazardously dangerous crawl.
Sometime last week a county-contracted striping crew laid down the long-missing lines all the way into Glen Ellen.
We do not pretend to assume those lines appeared because of our incessant badgering – we know that’s not how road decisions are made – but we want to congratulate the county Department of Roads and Public Works for finally getting it down, while we register a lingering complaint.
There is still an incomprehensible gap of some 50 feet between the clear lane lines laid down by Caltrans, and the fresh road paint applied by the county crew. Now, when you turn onto Arnold headed north on Highway 12, the lane line inextricably disappears for that brief gap. This would not be a big deal but for the fact that, at night, it is still hard to see quite where the lane goes until drivers are over the crest of the rounded berm leading onto Arnold Drive.
Is there some magical or bureaucratic barrier separating state paint from the county’s? Or is it just too dangerous to venture that 50-feet closer to a highway when wielding a striping truck? We’re curious and confused and wondering, why not just finish the job?
We understand the severe constraints imposed on Public Works by the county’s budget crunch, so we’re grateful for what we got. We just would have liked to get a little more – about 50 feet to be more precise.
And while we’re at it, there is one thing else: At the other end of Glen Ellen, where Madrone Road intersects Highway 12, there is also an absence of lane paint along the northern edge of Madrone, that adds an unnecessary risk for northbound motorists turning left toward Arnold Drive. Once again, there is a turnoff bordered by a significant drop-off and no way to see the edge clearly at night.
A little more paint – about 100 feet we figure –would fix that problem in a flash.
We expect we’ll be reminding the county for the next couple of years.