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The problem
Brook Thode left his home to go to work last week and unknowingly drove through paint that the city had recently laid for street striping.
He approached the city upset about the damage that had been done to his new truck.
Thode said the city did not place any cones or other markings denoting the wet paint, and the city should be liable for the damage.

What we found
City Administrator Nick Gregory said the city does the street stripe painting every year. Every year someone drives through the paint despite the city’s efforts to alert the public of the painting.
The city released notices of the date and locations of the painting, a notice that was published on social media and in the McPherson Sentinel.
gregory said the city does not assume any liability for any damage caused by people driving through the paint. He said municipalities and transportation departments across the nation who must also complete this annually painting have taken similar positions.
The paint used for the stripes is supposed to dry within two to four minutes of application, but cool, damp weather can delay that process, Gregory said.
A city vehicle follows behind warning vehicles to slow or in some instances blocks vehicles from accessing roadways with recently painted stripes.
Gregory said it would be very difficult to place cones at all the areas that have to be painted. However, he said city officials would consider any means they thought would effectively keep people from getting paint on their vehicles

Possible solutions
Gregory said the paint is a water-based latex enamel and should be able to be removed from the vehicles’ surfaces.
If drivers get paint on their vehicles, the city suggests the following remedies:
Step one: As soon as possible after getting paint from road  stripes, owners are encouraged to wash their vehicles immediately at a pressure car wash in an attempt to remove this fast-drying paint. This will loosen and remove most of the paint unless it has dried for more than one day.
Step two: If the car wash does not remove the paint, use bug and tar remover, or anything that contains Dlimonene or Dipentene. Another suggestion is to spray the paint  residue with WD-40 and allow the WD-40 to stay on the  area for one to two hours, then rewash the vehicle. The WD -40 will soften the traffic paint without hurting the vehicle finish. If there is a heavy concentration, repeat the procedure.
Step three: For heavy accumulations or paint that has dried for several days, apply a liberal coating of Vaseline to the dried traffic paint and allow the Vaseline to stay on  overnight. Take vehicle to a pressure car wash and
wash. This should remove most of the traffic paint. If not, repeat the procedure.
Do not scrub the finish with a solvent or scouring cleanser. This will damage the finish.
Step four: After cleaning the paint away, apply a good  wax to the vehicle’s finish. Wax should remove any lasting signs of the traffic paint.
Wheel wells are very difficult to remove the paint from since they are normally a flat finish. Apply a liberal coating of Vaseline to the area and leave for several days and then pressure wash. Applying an alcohol, such as Solox or rubbing alcohol to the area in the wheel well will help to soften any residue left after the Vaseline.
Again, do not scrub. Just apply with a very wetted rag or sponge.
For a formal statement on the city’s position on street painting see the city’s website at

How to submit a problem
If you have a problem, we would like to help. Send a detailed account of the issue, your name and contact information to:
Mail: P.O. 926, McPherson, KS 67460
Phone: 620-241-2422.