by Fred Young, Design Associate at Alta Planning + Design
For some of us in Alta’s Seattle office, the Tour de France is a much-anticipated event, but maybe not in the way you’d think. For centuries, the Dutch have been masters of the graphic arts, and they have continued this tradition in the care and precision in which they apply paint to their roadways. With Utrecht being the site of this year’s Grand Depart, we are lucky to have two full days of pavement viewing from the Netherlands.
I was talking with a transportation planner on a trip in Rotterdam recently about my odd interest in the Tour and he said that he had something to show me for my pavement photography “hobby.” He showed me their test paint swatches for ads that appear on the roadway during the race. The water-soluble paint will be sprayed off after the cyclists pass. The city developed this after their previous experiments with ads during the 2010 Tour, many of which are still visible.