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Red on black goes right back

Thursday, August 22, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

The crimson glow has faded just days after the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority started running buses up the bold new transit lanes at Guadalupe Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The project caused a minor sensation when its red paint first hit the streets, sending a clear signal for all to see that the city is willing to dedicate at least a very small fraction of its right of way for public transportation. By Wednesday’s meeting of the Mobility Committee, however, that signal had already lost its fidelity. Having caught the bus down Guadalupe Street earlier that morning, Council Member Jimmy Flannigan noted his surprise that the bright paint had become discolored: “Even colorblind me could tell it was not red anymore.” Eric Bollich of Austin Transportation acknowledged the new tire-marked mauve shade, pointing to “extreme heat” or initial conditions of the asphalt as probable culprits. Bollich said the department is looking at paint vendors and other cities in the region to see how they’ve managed or failed with painted pavement of their own.

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