What are those strange markings in my lane?

 In blog, Crime News: Los Angeles Daily News

What are those strange markings in my lane?

by Jim Radcliffe

Q. Hi Honk: I recently saw some unusual road markings on a transition linking the the 133 and the 405 freeways. They are about a foot long each and, horizonally, extend from the solid white lines on each side of the lane. At the beginning they are spaced about six to eight eight feet apart and gradually get closer to one another, to about three to four feet apart. What are these lines for? I’ve only ever seen them at this one location.

– Dan Savage, Lake Forest

A. Think Houdini, Dan, or better yet Criss Angel.

Those lines are an illusion, telling motorists that they are going too fast – which they might in fact might be – so they think “Whoa!” and slow down.

They are called speed-reduction markings, and are there to help us all take it easy so we don’t get into accidents.

Honk dug this out ouf a Federal Highway Adminstration report: “As spacing between bars gradually narrows, drivers sense they have increased speed and will slow down to keep the same time between each set of bars.”

The strategy has become more popular in recent years, but you probably won’t see them used a lot because, as that report puts it, “overuse could jeopardize the visual effect.”

Honk spends most of his work time as an editor – far from the editor – for this newspaper, and Dan did a solid job describing the markings. Still a good photo always helps, and a resident of Honkland sent one of speed-reduction markings and you can see it online (specifics are below).

Q. Dear Honk: Please use your vast resources to help me understand: How is it possible to show different colors to reflect the speed of traffic on freeways and surface streets all over the world? How can satellites so far away monitor cars and trucks at every intersection?

– Jon Giberson, Orange

A. Senors embedded in freeways and, probably in some streets, allowed Caltrans to see how fast vehicles were moving. But now, like Jon mentioned, these apps seem to be able to monitor even off-of-the-beaten-path streets.

Disclosure: Honk is a big fan of Waze and has used the app for years and is shocked at how accurate its projected driving times are even for long hauls. So he reached out to chose to reach out to Waze for answers, and the company, through a representative, passed along some info to him.

The app says that more than 130 million people use Waze each month and that 30,000 volunteers all around the globe help ensure the maps themselves are accurate.

When users have the app open, Waze sees their routes and speeds.

So those on that stretch of road provide data that fees an algorithm, which then computes the numbers and shoots back all of that input to our cellphones –  providing that valued intel.

Honkin’ update: Last week a reader asked Honk the odds of getting Caltrans to pay for her windshield that cracked after a truck with the agency apparently kicked up a rock. Statistically speaking, Honk showed with the transparency of Caltrans, that the state agency doesn’t pay off very often on claims filed with the Orange County office.

But Angela M. Madison, a Caltrans spokeswoman, called up Honk after that Q. and A. appeared with a tip: If you believe the agency made a mistake and somehow cost you money, provide as much pertinent info as possible on the claim forms to help Caltrans’ investigations.

To ask Honk questions, reach him at honk@ocregister.com. He only answers those that are published. To see Honk online: ocregister.com/tag/honk. Twitter: @OCRegisterHonk

All credit goes to Jim Radcliffe Originally published on https://www.dailynews.com

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