How much does it cost to paint parking stripes?
October 13, 2010 6:28 PM   Subscribe

What is the approximate cost of painting parking stripes on a typical American city block ?

I live in a downtown area that is high-demand parking, yet for some reason the block I live on does not have parking stripes. This leads to a variety of problems such as disorganized or inefficient parking and safety hazards. I'm willing to save up and donate my own money to get this accomplished, but I'd like to know a ball park figure to shoot for. Lets assume roughly 20 spots on each side of the street, for a total of (roughly) 40 lines.

...and "Yes".. before you ask.. I have made several inquiries and requests to my local city government (embarrassingly, I even work for them and am still not able to get a clear/definitive answer). Incredulously, I've even been told that it's a very specific type of paint.. and is on world-wide backorder. Wat?
posted by jmnugent to Grab Bag (9 answers total)
Well, they aren't feeding you a line about the paint being on backorder.
posted by strixus at 6:31 PM on October 13, 2010 [4 favorites]

That world-wide backorder excuse sounds like total horse puckey. You can share this website with someone. I don't envy the amount of red tape one would have to go through for them to change suppliers or actually just buy something on a corporate credit card.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:31 PM on October 13, 2010

Ah, nevermind.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:32 PM on October 13, 2010

It is likely that there is a process for requesting this; you should contact your city councilperson and find out what that process is. It's quite common, for example, for there to be two queues for things like new sidewalks: the OMG THIS SIDEWALK IS A DEATH HAZARD needs-to-be-done queue, and the queue of sidewalks in not-great repair where local residents are willing to pay for part of it. My city has separate funds for each type of sidewalk repair, and the waiting list for the "OMG NEED" one is like 10 years and it has to be a death trap; the waiting list for "neighbors will pay" is around 3 years. We pay a $250/year assessment for the next 10 years for each house on the block; the city paid the other two-thirds or so. (I forget the exact breakdown.) One of our neighbors went door to door and had to get like 80% sign-on and then we were able to petition onto the waiting list.

I mention sidewalks because we just had that done, but there's a similar process for street lamps, etc. And a simple "request and evaluate" process for street signs, crosswalks, parking, etc., which my one neighbor has also done to get us a new stop sign at an accident-prone corner. Many cities are similar. And definitely make it your councilperson's problem to get you an answer. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:12 PM on October 13, 2010

I design airports for a living. This involves a lot of striping. There actually is a shortage of pavement paint right now. I don't know the details but it has affected several of my projects that are currently under construction.

It is definitely possible to get paint right now. It just takes a little longer than usual and costs a little more.

(Either that or a bunch of contractors have banded together to mess with me.)
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 7:49 PM on October 13, 2010

@eyebrows mcgee:... Yes, i have submitted multiple requests (paperwork), including talking directly to co-workers in the Streets department, going out of my to specifically emphasize that I'd be willing to fully pay for it myself if they'd just give me a ballpark figure. I've received no response (written or phone).
posted by jmnugent at 8:45 PM on October 13, 2010

What happens if you run out there one day and paint them yourself with the cheap krylon stuff?

It's painting lines on a block for goodness' sake. I feel for you, as it shouldn't be this difficult.
posted by jellywerker at 9:16 PM on October 13, 2010

What happens if you run out there one day and paint them yourself

Usually you get ticketed or perhaps charged for interfering with traffic patterns.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:21 AM on October 14, 2010

Are you sure you want this? When they painted parking spaces in my neighborhood, we lost about 35% of the most desirable parking. People often parked badly/wastefully before, but it was more than made up for by the people around them. With the parking stripes, they're so far apart that we lost space, and if you're over them you get a 55 dollar ticket.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:37 AM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

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