Poor quality paint is dangerously and very frequently used for pavement markings and crosswalks in the USA, in place of more-expensive but vastly-safer thermoplastic materials which have a high-glass-bead content for excellent reflectivity at night and in bad weather.
Compare the photo above with the one below. They are at the same location and were taken less than 12 hours apart.
On a recent two-day AdoNA defensive driving course on which I was instructing in Massachusetts, I was able to photograph some very brightly colored crosswalks which are perfectly visible in daylight but which — as shown above and below — are effectively invisible during heavy rain at night. Insult was added to injury by the fact that there were no pole-mounted signs at all, to show the presence of the above crosswalks. And with plenty of parked cars to further reduce the view, the result is significant danger to road users, particularly pedestrians.
So the last photograph here is a daylight shot of a regular white ladder-pattern crosswalk. These were equally impossible to see while driving during nighttime rain and I only identified them because I was, by profession, being significantly more cautious than the vast majority of other drivers could reasonably be expected to be.
I must add I am not “picking on” Falmouth in this post; it is merely one of countless towns and cities that share this problem. In every context other than terrible paint for its pavement markings, Falmouth is a delightful little town and very pleasant to visit. This is a much bigger issue; one that needs to be tackled and remedied very promptly, not only by the Federal Highways Administration [FHWA] but by the state of Massachusetts and by most other states, too. Poor quality paint for pavement markings sure as heck cannot possibly be compliant with the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices [MUTCD], and if it is, it’s an absolute travesty at the national level!
None of the common colors I’ve encountered for crosswalks — yellow, green, blue, dusky pink (or the very similar and presumably expensive alternative of patterned, reddish brickwork) can be expected to work any better than the yellow paint in the above examples. And even white crosswalks, and all other pavement markings, are a negligent waste of time if made of cheap materials that cannot do a proper job at all times.
Personal Injury attorneys should be all over this dangerous issue like a rash, if that is what it will take to remedy the problem!