Filed under: Art, Connections, Humor, Music, National Geographic, Predictions, Science Fiction, Wales, Writing stuff | Tags: America the Beautiful, art, blogging, Elsie Kaplan, humor, jim downey, music, National Geographic, New Mexico, predictions, Science Fiction, Singing Road, St. Cybi's Well, Tijeras, video, Wales, writing
Darnell Sidwell had just crossed the Severn Bridge on the M4, heading west. He read the highway sign:
Sound Sculpture Ahead. Move to outer left lane, maintain speed of 70 kph.
He pulled the little GM rental hybrid into the left lane carefully, and thought about setting the cruise control, but was unsure where to find it on the unfamiliar vehicle. The car crossed the first warning rumble strips. Darnell turned his attention to the sound of the tires, and a few moments later was treated to a long, drawn-out rumble over a series of carefully spaced and specially shaped strips, which distinctly said: “WWWWW-ELLL-CCCCOOOOOMMME-TOOOOO-WWWWWAAAALLLESSSS”.
Playing with rumble strips is nothing new (and wasn’t when I first came up with the idea mentioned on my archive site above), but it’s fun to see that it is now being used more in the way I envisioned:
Sounds emanating from 1,300 feet of roadway just west of Tijeras have been listened to around the world, and it’s more than just tires on pavement catching international attention.
The Singing Road, installed last week, uses rumble strips to play “America the Beautiful” for drivers who obey the speed limit as they cruise down Route 66.
The National Geographic Channel approached the New Mexico Department of Transportation about the project last June, asking if they could construct the road for an upcoming series. The project was privately funded by National Geographic and NMDOT didn’t make – or spend – any money on it. Since the road was finished last week, Melissa Dosher, the public information officer for NMDOT, said she’s fielded questions from television stations as far away as Australia.
There’s a video (with sound) at the above site, so you can hear it. Fun stuff.
HT to ML for the initial link last week.
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