New crosswalk tape tested in Southwick

Southwick DPW prepares crosswalk
Employees from Southwick Highway Department apply a reflective adhesive strip in the crosswalk at the Powder Mill School Monday. The reflective strip replaces the conventional method of painting the crosswalk. (Photo by The Westfield News/Frederick Gore)

SOUTHWICK, Mass. (The Westfield News) – Pedestrians crossing Feeding Hills And Powder Mill roads will notice a new kind of crosswalk. Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Randy Brown said they are testing a reflective tape crosswalk versus the traditional painted version.

“It is applied directly to the asphalt,” said Brown. “The hope is that it will last much longer than paint. Right now we paint crosswalks at least once a year – sometimes twice in high traffic areas.”

Southwick DPW prepares crosswalk
An employee from the Southwick Highway Department uses a roller to flatten out a new adhesive strip of reflective material that is presently being used to mark crosswalks. (Photo by The Westfield News/Frederick Gore)

The three crosswalks are located near the school campus and will be more easily seen in the dark because of the reflective quality of the tape, which is about 12-inches wide. DPW employees laid the new tape crosswalks Monday, lining the two sides of the walk with tape, but not striping the inside.

“This is a new product for Southwick,” said Brown. “It should last multiple years and if so, we’ll see labor savings from not painting so often.”

The tape, made by 3M, was purchased in a large roll from the DPW paving and striping budget line item. The durable tape is supposed to withstand New England weather.

“I’m curious to see how this holds up in winter with the snow plows,” said Brown. “If we get positive results, we would consider this for other crosswalks.”

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Media Credit: The Westfield News

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