Work crews from the Department of Parking and Traffic (DPT) at the MTA have been re-striping portions of Mission Street recently, the old lane markings having all but disappeared as the street crumbles with age.
When I snapped the photo above, the air along the corridor redolent of oil and the machines that churn out our roads (there was also a waft of concrete production from a new building nearby), I was intrigued by the powder thrown on the wet thermoplast by the man in the rear of the frame.
Assuming it was a drying agent, I was surprised to learn from MTA spokesperson Judson True that the "powder" is actually small glass balls that adhere to the thermoplast and give it a reflective quality when headlights hit it at night.
A number of other questions came up, such as what will become of the runoff from the glass beads that don’t adhere to the street paint or the other chemicals sprayed immediately after the beads? Or when are we going to see those same crews striping all those new lanes not for cars?
Or when are they going to repave Mission Street altogether? I don’t see it in DPW’s five year repaving plan, but with sections like the photo below the jump, I’d imagine Mission will more resemble a dirt track five years from now than a city street. And given the ailing budget and the death of the street paving bond, is this lane marking operation just lipstick on a pig?