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Re: [ARSCLIST] mostly for laughs too-- audio in asphalt?

You have the purpose figured out - they are called rumble strips, and
are meant to keep sleepy drivers from going off the road.  I first
encountered them in Pennsylvania about 30 years ago, and now they are
all over New York and apparently many other places.  (I must confess
that it also occurred to me they could be *tuned* - though reality
dictates that for my tax dollars I'd prefer the potholes be kept


Susan T Stinson, Curator
Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive
Syracuse University Library
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
315-443-3477 / fax 443-4866

>>> rodbrown@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx 10/25/2006 2:40 AM >>>
Hi folks,

We took a driving vacation from Oakland, CA to Denver last summer. I 
noticed again that highways nowadays feature a continuous procession 
of indentations, perpendicular to the roadbed, running just outboard 
of the slow lane. They look to be about an inch and a half deep and 
wide, by maybe eight inches long. They're regularly spaced at perhaps 
four inches apart.

When driven over, they produce a noticeable vibration throughout the 
car. No doubt the idea is to wake up drowsy drivers before they can 
drift too far off the road.

This generic buzz strikes me as terribly short-sighted. It shouldn't 
be that difficult to vary these indentations so as to encode specific 
sounds into the pavement. The vehicle's tire act as a stylus, while 
the body of the car resonates all around.

To really shake up the somnambulant sojourner, I'd think a chorus of 
"Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Yay" would work well. Or we could recruit a severe, 
maternal voice-over actress to read, "Wake up, pull over, and take a 

Other thoughts?

Yours for safety,

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