How-To's & Tips

RouteArrows Removal Info & Instructions

RouteArrows are designed to be left behind after your event, but they can also be easily removed if needed. They are made with 3 simple ingredients; paper, water-based inks, and adhesive. That’s why we say they’re “eco-friendly”.

RouteArrows are worn away by daily traffic but they will not magically disappear from wherever they are placed! Arrows located near the STOP line will wear away the quickest, as will those that get wet. But Arrows placed to the right of the white line, out of traffic, will last much longer than Arrows placed just to the left, in the traffic.

Two labels placed on each roll of RouteArrows have this simple message:
Please remove RouteArrows from trails, paths and pedestrian areas after your event. Thank You! 

The only criticism we receive at are from people who feel their neighborhood or their path is littered with Arrows after an event. Please be mindful of this issue when placing your Arrows and when planning for any removal.

Arrow removal might appear to be a tedious job, but fortunately it’s not difficult and it can also be beneficial to your event’s future growth by creating local good will.

There are two basic “Used Arrow” categories:

Still whole and intact; exposed to a little if any traffic

To aid removal when placing Arrows: fold the tip under just a bit, about ¼”, which creates a small “tab to grab”. When you return to remove them, lift the Arrow slow and steady, at an angle and speed that avoids tearing, not fast like a Band-Aid! The best technique will soon become evident. If it tears, use the first piece, or another Arrow, or have some duct tape handy to help lift off the remaining Arrow piece(s).

Without a folded tip: use a tool such as a metal putty knife to start the lifting process. Avoid using your fingernails. Pick then lift the tip or a front edge, but not the tails, they will tear more easily. As before, lift the Arrow slow and steady at an angle that avoids tearing. Bring a small bag to transport the waded bits of paper to your local recycle bin. Remember to wear Hi-Viz clothing and to keep an eye on traffic!

Abraded and pressed into pavement by a lot of traffic

These are best removed with the “Water and Wire Brush” method. You simply wet the Arrows and then brush them into bits of mush. The more worn the Arrows are, the better this method works! This is also better when removing lots of Arrows in clusters.

You’ll need:

1.) A supply of water: bring 5 or more (used) 1 gallon jugs, then refill as needed.
2.) A wire Block Brush with approx. 1.25” metal bristles, available at most hardware and paint stores. Important: it must have a threaded hole(s) for a handle! Don’t use plastic or fiber bristle brushes, they’re not stiff enough.
3.) A handle: they’re usually 60” long, available in wood, metal or fiberglass.
4.) Work gloves to avoid blisters from the handle.
5.) A good sun hat and sunglasses.
6.) Cold beverages!

Work in teams of two if possible; one person wets the Arrows while the other does the brushing. Pour just enough water to saturate the Arrows, wait a few seconds and then brush with short strokes across the Arrows width. Hold the handle near vertical so the bristles make full contact. Just a few brush strokes with moderate to firm pressure will turn them into bits of harmless mush. A last splash of water or two will disperse the residue. Again, wear Hi-Viz clothing and always keep an eye out for any traffic!

More Options & Info

Another removal method, as mentioned earlier, uses duct tape. It’s an easy method, especially if you only have a few Arrows to remove. It can work with Fresh or Worn Arrows when they’re dry, but not if they’re damp. Use a 10” piece of tape, stick most of it to the Arrow the long way, then lift off the whole Arrow, or any small torn bits.

Determining which method to use at any given Arrow location will only take a little time and experience, but it’s nice to have multiple options and the tools on hand. It’s safe to say that you will probably encounter both Fresh and Worn Arrows afterwards!

Scheduling the Arrow removal within 2 days of your event is optimum. I once had a person come up and thank me, appreciative that the cycling event cared enough to remove the Arrows the day after. Few if any will notice, or cares about your Arrows left on a lonely country road or on a busy urban thoroughfare and most cycling events are many miles of both. But any Arrows placed on pedestrian paths, on sidewalks, or any other places frequented by those on foot, should be removed after your event.

Thank you for taking the time to read and consider this information. Our goal here at RouteArrows is to make the route marking equation as simple and easy as possible, to help an event do a great job and make the total event experience rewarding for the participants, the organizers and the surrounding community alike.