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Back in April 2009, VDOT added zigzag markings to Sterling Boulevard and Belmont Ridge Road where these roads meet the W&OD Trail. Since then they've studied how these lines have changed driver behavior.
White zigzag lines jumping from one side of the road to another in Sterling are having a positive impact on speeding, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation
"Before the study, we thought the zigzag pavement markings would have an immediate impact on motorist awareness, but over time would lessen," Lance E. Dougald, research scientist at the Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research, says in a statement. "It was interesting to see that the markings actually had a sustained positive impact on speed reduction even after the markings had been in place for one year.
"One possible explanation for this is that markings installed within the roadway, especially unique markings, are more visible than signage and are less likely to blend into the roadside environment," he says.
VDOT touts the program as a low-cost way to improve road safety.
The department says the zigzags will stay on the roads for a number of years, and if similar programs are successful in other parts of the country, the project could be expanded.