Ketchikan stripe show makes national news


KETCHIKAN – It was a pavement striping job so crooked it made the New York Post. The new yellow double lines on Tongass Highway wiggled, went wide, and stayed wet too long.

The paint job made the news because the car belonging to Ketchikan Gateway Borough Mayor David Landis ended up with yellow paint splotches.

“You come to expect having highway striping like that to be straight and have orderly looking lines and be professionally applied,” Landis told a reporter. “Something was clearly wrong with the equipment or the operation of that equipment to have so many things wrong all at once.”

The Ketchikan Daily News said that the State Department of Transportation explained that due to humidity, the paint didn’t dry as quickly a it should. But the state isn’t planning to repaint the highway.

And on further inspection, it appears that drivers on Tongass Highway, the city’s main thoroughfare, were weaving onto the freshly painted yellow lines.

That said, locals wondered aloud why DOT didn’t use the last three weeks, Ketchikan’s version of an Indian summer, to get the striping cone.

According to the newspaper, DOT recommends people who have the telltale yellow spatters get their vehicles pressure washed. If that doesn’t work, use WD-40, and after soaking the yellow spatters, wash the car. And finally, if that doesn’t do the trick, use a “liberal coating of Vaseline,” and then pressure wash.

We consulted to and found these instructions:

  1. Put on rubber gloves.
  2. Moisten a small shop towel with lacquer-paint-thinning solvent. Wring out the towel to prevent dripping.
  3. Apply solvent to the road-line paint, using the damp towel.
  4. Wait 10 to 15 seconds for the lacquer solvent to loosen the paint
  5. Wipe the road-line paint from your car, using a terry cloth. Massage the road paint in a circular motion until it comes loose.
  6. Moisten a fresh towel with lacquer-paint-thinning solvent and wipe down any remaining road-line paint. Use the buffer, equipped with a wool pad, to clean off the remaining road paint.
  7. Dry excess lacquer solvent with a new, dry towel.