Zigzag lines on highway a mystery to some, but state says they could help save lives

ARLINGTON, Wash. -- Washington State Department of Transportation engineers say new zigzag lines painted on State Route 9 in Snohomish County should slow drivers down and hopefully save lives.

Drivers who Q13 FOX news spoke with who saw the freshly painted lines on SR 9 told us they didn't know what they meant.

WSDOT engineers say the white zigzag is popular in Europe, and informs drivers about an upcoming crosswalk.

"Making these locations as safe as they can be is what we’re focused on." said WSDOT traffic engineer Mark Bandy.

Motorists and cyclists we spoke with seemed to like the idea of the new painted features once they found out what they meant.

"Doubling up on safety measures is fine with me," Bob Crooks said.

The painted lines on SR 9 north of Arlington are just the first of several. WSDOT engineers plan to add zigzag lines near crosswalks in Concrete and Fall City.

After some time, officials plan to clock the speed of drivers to see if the zigzags are working. Officials say more zigzag lines could pop up around Western Washington if they are shown to work.

Engineers say the zigzag lines cost $2,000 to install and require little maintenance.