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I was alerted to a new problem that may be facing Minnesota drivers very soon. Apparently, there is a shortage of the paint that is needed to create the lines on highways. There are other states already seeing the affect of this shortage and who are looking at the possibility of simply not painting lines.

The shortage seems to be a combination of a key element that comes from China and slow sales from the economy. Sounds to me like there was less buying of the product so the profitability suffered. As a result less paint is being produced.

I have for some time had concerns about the amount of salt and sand that wasn’t being used on the road in the winter. If we add fading and the absence of lines, we are looking at year round hazards. When we are looking at financial decisions as to what and if roads get new lines, it should be a concern for any Minnesotan driver.

Questions will be asked:

– Why was one road done and not another?

– What about new drivers who would expect the lines to be in the area?

– What other options are out there?

– Will there be problems with an inferior or different product that might be used?

– Does a sign that says "There are no lines of the road" do enough to warn drivers?

– What other safety issues should be considered (stop signs, speed limits, markers) to replace the lines?

It’s an issue we all need to keep an eye on.

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