Wrong median paint color had to be redone on Highway 99

Crews painted lane and median stripes this summer on a stretch of Highway 99 between Everett and Lynnwood, but in some places the median was the wrong color, like the yellow seen here. Eventually it was repainted the correct white. (Eric Robins)

street smarts

An old yellow was used in some spots between Everett and Lynnwood until the standard white paint was applied.

Some new lane paint on Highway 99 south of Everett made Erik Robins do a double take this summer.

The Lynnwood man noticed fresh striping between 148th Street SW and Airport Road. But at some left turn medians, the color looked wrong in mid-July.

Instead of a solid color, half of the median curb or line was white and half was yellow.

“I find this confusing and potentially dangerous because I (and I assume other drivers) look at the line color to determine if the lane is intended for my use or for the use of drivers traveling in the opposite direction,” Robins wrote to The Daily herald “This doesn’t seem difficult to correct and I hope that they get painted the correct color.”

He was correct, and he wasn’t alone.

Other people apparently contacted the Washington State Department of Transportation asking about the lane and median striping, spokesperson James Poling said.

“That was a noted thing,” he said.

Every year WSDOT tends to thousands of miles of roads for lane and median restriping. This summer crews were out marking lanes for Highway 99 south of Everett but used remnants of old yellow paint. After people brought it to the agency’s attention, it was repainted to solid white.

Robins took a photo of the yellow paint July 27 and contacted WSDOT about it. He saw the new white paint by Aug. 1, he said.

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