SoCal Roads Get Groove On

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

You won’t see American Songwriter ask you to turn off your car stereo very often. This one time, though, might be worth it as it seems some crafty road workers in Lancaster, Calif. have begun carefully carving grooves into the asphalt of one local avenue to, when driven over, produce notes from the “William Tell Overture.”

You won’t see American Songwriter ask you to turn off your car stereo very often. This one time, though, might be worth it as it seems some crafty road workers in Lancaster, Calif. have begun carefully carving grooves into the asphalt of one local avenue to, when driven over, produce notes from the “William Tell Overture.” The project had actually been completed once before in the L.A. suburb last month for a Honda commercial, but was quickly paved over after nearby residents complained of the constant noise. Now relocated to a more industrial neighborhood, city officials look to lead the nation in musical roads.

These SoCal pavement panderers, sadly, can’t be given all the credit for the idea. Actually, the first such roads were carved out in central and northern Japan last year – one of which is said to be fashioned for a Japanese pop song – after Shizuo Shinoda stumbled on the idea during a bout with a bulldozer and the Hokkaide Industrial Research Institute in Sapporo sought to perfect the musical designs. Where those roads required the motorist to chug along at 28 mph for a 30-second melody, Avenue K has you cruise at a more manageable 55 mph down its quarter-mile strip. As you might expect, the gusto from the “Lone Ranger” theme song naturally feels choppy, but the notes themselves are pitch-perfect.

As for the wear and tear on the tires of the out-of-the-way traffickers or maintenance of the grooved road as it becomes a veritable tourist attraction – one need only test the search engine on YouTube to see that coming – no plans have yet been made. But tax payers rest assured, several unspecified companies have approached the local council to sponsor the road and reimburse the $35,000 in return for a little roadside publicity.




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