If you’re surfing the channels this month, there’s a good chance you’ll come across “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Near the end of this classic holiday film, the main character, George Bailey, sees how his town would look if he’d never been born.
George’s alternate reality was stark. Without him, none of George’s family relationships and friendships existed. None of the mortgage loans he’d underwritten existed, either. George saw that his everyday life had reverberated in monumental ways.
Like any good work of art, “It’s a Wonderful Life” inspires viewers to think about themselves, about their own relationships — about how their everyday lives impact others.
At InfraStripe, “It’s a Wonderful Life” also got us thinking about highway striping. To be fair, we think about highway striping every day. But it’s still an interesting question: How would the world be different if the $2-billion-a-year pavement marking industry didn’t exist?
Obviously, this alternate reality would be filled with more wrecks. Without pavement markings, drivers couldn’t maintain their lanes because lanes wouldn’t exist. Neither would bike lanes, loading zones, stop bars, yield lines, crosswalks, railroad crossings. The list goes on and on.
Newer innovations like rumble strips, bowtie intersections, and single-point urban exchanges wouldn’t exist either. They depend on pavement marking companies.
Without pavement striping, a workforce that includes thousands of highly trained and skilled infrastructure workers wouldn’t exist. New opportunities for young, career-minded professionals wouldn’t be added to the economy each year.
And, of course, the InfraStripe family of regional contractors wouldn’t exist to share our value of safety through professionalism and growth.
So, this holiday season, we’re grateful for pavement stripes. We’re grateful that an industry with humble beginnings has helped shape modern transportation while contributing to economic development and improving the overall safety of travelers.