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St. Cloud, Minnesota

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Old Fashion White Stripes: Making Minnesota Roads Safer?

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Drive any road that is sufficiently maintained and you will see white stripes. The Minnesota Department of Transposition has been looking at the question of : Does Size Matter? In Otter Tail County the white road stripes are being widened from four inches to six inches. In some other states they are going to eight inches.

Wider stripes lead to more reaction time — they cause the driver to notice curves in the road sooner, especially at night, said County Highway Engineer Rick West , It’s also better for older drivers. It will take five years to determine the results of the change.

The project was funded using federal funding. The Minnesota Department of Transportation’s District 4, which includes Otter Tail County, received $1.2 million in federal safety funds. Other counties are using rumble strips and reflector strips along with looking at the widening option.

This was clearly a good idea and hopefully with any success, the rest of the state will be watching what happens.