Traffic Q&A: Grant determines which Tacoma streets get new striping

Question: The city of Tacoma recently put down new paint striping at a bunch of intersections around town, but it didn’t paint the streets in between them. Why don’t they just paint from one intersection to the next and connect the striping? – J.D., Tacoma

Answer: The new striping at Tacoma intersections was paid for with grants awarded specifically for that purpose. The city received about $1.2 million in grants to upgrade signs and pavement markings at about 120 intersections.

The grant paid for raised reflective pavement markers, new reflective signs designed to improve night-time visibility and plastic striping material that’s supposed to last longer than the paint typically used.

Some streets between the intersections will be restriped this year; others will have to wait their turn, said Joshua Diekmann, the city’s transportation engineer.

“As the grant-funded work nears completion, the regularly scheduled annual striping project will begin to connect some of those intersections,” Diekmann said. “Each year, the city hires a contractor to repaint about half the roadways in the city.”

The contractor soon will begin work on striping the streets planned for this year, which are in the northern and western parts of the city, he said.

Anyone with questions about striping and roadway markings can contact the city’s traffic engineering group at 253-591-5500.