Ken Kalthoff, NBC 5 News
If you're not sure where your lane ends or begins, you are not alone, street painting, like lines, crosswalks, etc. are the latest victims of Dallas city budget cuts.
Dallas city leaders learned Monday the city budget is more than $6 million short on money needed for proper pavement markings.
For instance, nearly two thirds of the 7,388 crosswalks in Dallas are worn or not visible at all. Painting them all would require $2.3 million the city does not have.
On top of existing problems, the city has approved a bike plan that calls for adding 1,296 additional miles of bike routes.
The cost of additional paint for bike lanes added to routine road striping would be around $3.9 million a year.
City Council Members at a briefing on the issue Monday said no one ever mentioned paint cost when the bike plan was approved.
“What I’m wondering is why a staff member didn’t jump up during that year and a half we were working on it and say, now wait a minute,” Councilmember Angela Hunt said.
The lack of street markings is clear on many major Dallas streets. The Jefferson Boulevard bridge from Oak Cliff to Downtown leaves drivers guessing on where lanes are.
“And if you guess wrong, you’re in trouble,” said truck driver Richard Snell. In an accident, Snell said police would have trouble deciding what lane a driver should have been in.
Hunt said markings are part of the overall cut street maintenance has taken in Dallas during several years of budget reductions. “We put some additional dollars in this past year, but we need more to insure we have the ability to stripe all of our streets as necessary,” Hunt said.
Briefings on the problems Monday only detailed the problems but did not include a source of money to solve the problems at this time.