Workers Paint ‘Space Alien’ Bike Lane Marking

FRIDAY, APRIL 28, 2023

According to reports, a combined footpath and cycle path in the United Kingdom is “out of this world,” sporting a pedestrian character that looks more like a space alien.

The character was first spotted by John Stickland, a member of the Facebook group "Plymouth Street Scenes," who uploaded a photo of the “space alien,” prompting others to poke fun at the paint job located on Runway Road.

“In this age of inclusivity, it's heartening to see the combined footpath and cycle path on Runway Road, Derriford seems to cater for space aliens. Out of this world...” wrote Stickland in his post.

Stickland told PlymouthLive that he suspects the original pedestrian marking had been “redone” by fiber optic cable laying workers.

A spokesperson for Plymouth City Council agreed that Stickland had a point, also confirming they have since been in contact with the utility company responsible. The company has reportedly agreed to revisit the site.

In a statement, Plymouth City Council said: “Your reader has a point. It’s not the most artistic likeness of a human or a bike but it seems it has sat there unnoticed for quite some time.

“We are checking our records and think this may have been there for some time—possibly back to 2021. When utility companies dig up pavements we ask them to replace like for like on road markings. We agree it doesn’t look good and have raised this with the company responsible who have agreed to revisit this.”

Other Road Marking Incidents

Back in 2017, a resident of Boxford, Suffolk, in the United Kingdom brought attention to the fact that the town’s Sand Hill has road markings that are only half there, due to rules governing what marking work a utility company was permitted to do.

UK Power Networks had performed work laying underground electrical lines for a new housing development nearby, according to the East Anglian Daily Times at the time. When the work was complete, the utility repainted road markings that its work had affected. But, the company says, it only had Suffolk County Council’s permission to repaint a certain portion of the street.

The result? An area that once said “SLOW,” but had long since faded, said “SL” when the utility was done with its work. Another spot down the street, once marked with a triangle to denote a “give way” (or yield), was marked with a portion of a triangle, looking more like a numeral seven.

Residents accused the county council and the utility of a “lack of joined-up thinking” and a “lack of common sense” in the matter, and have called the whole situation a “farce.”

What’s more, a short time after the “SL” was laid down, the “L,” which appeared on a part of the pavement that had previously existed, had already faded. That left only an “S,” situated over the new patch of asphalt where the cable had been laid.


Tagged categories: Coating Application; Color + Design; Design; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); EU; Paint; Paint application; Quality Control; Roads/Highways

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