‘Singing Roads’ too much for Dutch villagers

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10 April 2018 |Robert-Jan Bartunek / Reuters | Autoblog

AMSTERDAM — Take the highway past the Dutch village of Jelsum, and the road will play you a tune.

Created by strategically laid “rumble strips” as a way of livening up journeys across the flat landscape, the novelty has worn thin for locals who say the constant droning melody is driving them mad.

The tune is created when car tires drive over the strips — which are more typically deployed at the side of major roads to warn drivers they are straying off course.

If hit at the correct speed — the 60 kph (40 mph) limit — the road will sing out the anthem of the Friesland region, a northern part of the Netherlands that has a distinct language and culture.

But it is loud, and the sound travels, and locals say the musical road had created a never-ending cacophony that keeps them awake at night.

“Last Saturday night the taxis were driving from Leeuwarden to Stiens and on the way back, they tried to go across the lines as quickly as possible and we had the anthem played all night at high speed,” said local resident Ria Jansma.

The Friesland authority has agreed to remove the rumble strips later this week, local newspaper Leeuwarder Courant reported.


There are more musical roads out there annoying people. Here’s one in California that plays a terrible rendition of the “William Tell Overture.” It was originally a marketing gimmick by Honda more than a decade ago, and the neighbors weren’t crazy about this one either, and yet it persists:


And here is a much more successful rendition of “America the Beautiful” on Route 66 in New Mexico. Sounds pretty decent in this video, but by some accounts it has since gone out of tune:

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