(QUEEN CITY NEWS) – It’s something that becomes immediately apparent at night or in the rain. Paint on the roads…or lack thereof.
North Carolina transportation officials said there’s a reason the paint seems to be fading so quickly. All you have to do is roll down the window and listen to why.
It’s the inspiration behind some of the greatest hits and some of the greatest memories.
“So ‘Deep Purple’ has a song called ‘Speed King.’ I used to listen to it on Driver’s Ed and got in trouble because I was going too fast,” Dillon Smith said. “True Story.”
Although the drive isn’t inspirational enough to fill one side of a 12-inch vinyl, Smith, owner of “Noble Records,” said he knows quite a bit about the loops around Charlotte.
“I’m in the shop two days a week, five days a week, driving records, so I’m doing the loop a lot,” Smith said.
On rainy days it’s a bit hard to see where it’s going.
“The rain complicates things a little more,” Smith said.
➡️ Track issues along your journey with the interactive QCN Traffic map
Part of this problem is barely visible paint on roads and highways.
“I had a car accident yesterday, I got hit yesterday actually,” Smith said.
North Carolina Department of Transportation officials said increased traffic in the area is one of the reasons the paint doesn’t appear to last as long. On top of that, they can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to repainting across the state.
“We have such different typography, and we have different needs across the state and some areas may experience more severe weather than others, so it has to be looked at on a case-by-case and division-by-division basis, if you want,” said NCDOT’s Jen Thompson.
Thompson said they’ve successfully used different types of reflectors and paint on rural roads around the state, but it’s different for urban areas. However, they’re still looking for ways to help make the lines look brighter when it’s dark or raining.
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“Believe me, we want everything to be shiny and shiny too,” Thompson said. “It’s not happening as quickly as anyone would like, but we’re doing the best we can with our resources.”
The roads may not be as perfectly preserved as one of his records, but Smith said there was at least a soundtrack for the ride.
“The Cars, a great group,” Smith said. “They need a good road.”