When marking asphalt or concrete areas, the two main options are pavement marking tape or paint—with or without stencils. While this list is by no means exhaustive, here are some of the most popular uses for pavement marking tape and paint.

Visual Cues in Traveled Lanes

Roadways, including travel lanes and construction areas, require clear makings for safety and communication. Without clearly marked signage and pavement markings, drivers may be confused and driving conditions become hazardous. Temporary pavement markings are ideal for construction zones and short-term traffic flow changes, while permanent pavement marking tape creates lines and messages suitable for long-term use on roadways and more.

While visual cues are important to convey safety information, such as do not pass, lane changes, turning lanes, detours, and crosswalks, too many markings may be confusing. To avoid overwhelming drivers, ensure pavement markings adhere to all local Department of Transportation requirements. The most common markings in traveled lanes include:

  • Directional cues such as arrows, route information, or cardinal directions
  • Turn lane markings, including arrows and “only” text
  • Notice of potential traffic interruptions from pedestrians, railroad crossings, yield requirements, or other alerts
  • Traffic flow information including lane changes, detours, and limitations
  • Common roadway markings including solid or broken center lines to designate lanes, shoulder lines, and right of way cues

Pavement Markings for Parking Lots and Garages

After roadways, parking lots may come to mind when you think of pavement markings. Clear instructions are necessary for organization and safety in parking lots, pick-up zones, and garages. Beyond parking spaces, your parking area may require fire lanes, no parking notice, designated parking spaces, and pedestrian safety lines. When marking parking areas, ensure you’re following all necessary rules regarding parking space dimensions and handicap parking space requirements—including location and how many spaces you must provide.

Rumble strips, speed bumps, and other traffic control devices are effective at enforcing speed limits, especially when paired with pavement markings and signage. Similarly, wheel stops and curbs, when paired with parking lot striping, can improve organization and prevent vehicle overhang from obstructing pedestrian zones.

Other parking area lines and graphics may include:

  • Posted speed limits
  • Crosswalks, walkways, and pedestrian zones
  • Right of way notices
  • Curbside pick-up parking designation
  • One- or two-way traffic markings, generally conveyed using arrows
  • Striping to designate parking spots, angled (diagonal) or straight (perpendicular)
  • Custom advertisements and promotional signs

Warehouse Pavement Markings

Indoors, floor marking tape is important for warehouse safety—but don’t neglect proper outdoor markings. Loading dock safety messaging, entrances and exits, forklift zones, one-way flow, and other cues help keep warehouse employees and truck drivers safe. From labeling warehouse bays by number or intended use to posting no-idling notices or reminders of other local regulations, pavement marking tape and signs are ideal. Pavement marking tape with evenly distributed glass beads is retroreflective, so visibility is improved for better navigation. Warehouses and loading docks have individual needs, and our custom-designed signs provide the right message.

Airport Messaging in Paved Areas

While large airports have greater requirements, small or private airports may prefer pavement marking tape over painted lines. Permanent pavement marking tape is less labor-intensive to apply and often lasts longer than painted pavement markings, making it a good choice for airfield markings.

These taped markings and signs may be used to:

  • Route traffic
  • Label parking lots
  • Designate maintenance areas
  • Mark authorized personnel only or restricted area zones
  • Provide directional cues
  • Create holding position markings or surface signs
  • Provide directional cues

While you must always follow FAA standards when marking airport runways, taxiways, and aprons, pavement marking tape and rubber-backed signs offer benefits for airfield use. Adhesive backing offers easy application, and there’s no dry time required for limited traffic disruption. Even when primer is required during pavement marking application, downtime is limited.

Schools and Playgrounds

Schools, playgrounds, recreational parks, and public spaces are improved with clear markings, and the quality and longevity of the lines, signs, and shapes are highly important. Keeping kids, parents, teachers, and visitors safe comes down to clear communication for pedestrians and drivers. Clearly labeled bus lanes, traffic flow cues, drop-off and pick-up lane designations, and school zone crosswalks, and other notices help improve overall safety. Text, shapes, and graphics work together to create a safer school parking lot.

Beyond parking lots, painted and taped markings are common on the playground, where recreational signs and stencils can be used to create maps, four square courts, hopscotch boards—or even mini roadways for creative play. Bring some school spirit to the playground or outdoor basketball court with the school’s name and mascot prominently displayed.

While pavement marking tape and signs are durable and easy to apply, some locations are better suited to paint. For example, parking lot stencils and paint may be ideal for covering larger areas—as with a map graphic or applying basketball court lines. Our durable stencils may be re-used for multiple or touch-up applications.

While pavement marking tape may not be ideal in all situations, there are many options to suit a variety of visual communication needs. For more tips about creating a visual communication strategy for safety and organization, explore our Resource Center.