It was an event when it was unveiled on September 5: “The Civic Musical Road,” marked by blue highway signs and virally telegraphed through YouTube videos. The quarter-mile of asphalt, six miles west of downtown Lancaster, California, on Avenue K between West 62nd and 70th Streets, was notched with grooves to reproduce a passage from Rossini’s William Tell Overture, better-known to American drivers as the theme from The Lone Ranger TV series, when Civic-sized cars drove over it at 55 mph.
According to an article in the Torrance Daily Breeze, the road was made to be used in a commercial. The city approved it in the hope that it would entice more TV and film crews to the area. But immediate noise complaints from people living near the Musical Road have forced the city to destroy it. Non-Civics (which are most cars) produce an unmusical, atonal whine when they drive on the road. Even if it worked for every car, would you want to listen to the Lone Ranger theme 10,000 times a day?
The shame of it all is that America has millions of miles of utterly empty highways that would be perfect for this kind of modification, and a lengthy catalog of road tunes just waiting to be turned into tire music. You could, for example, notch this asphalt to play Dark Side Of The Moon in its entirety if you wanted. It would be like visiting the Jackson Cascades, but without the totally awesome colored lights and water.
Well, there is still the singing highway near Kerkhoven, MN that is listed here as a tip though I’ve never done it. Also, it’s just pitch changes and not a real song. But in France they have had the start of “La Marseilles” grooved into the autoroute between Paris and the Mediterranean coast for years now because I first heard about it in the late 80s. They have it in a few spots so people won’t fall asleep in their cars on their way back from a vacation to the Riviera. I don’t know if it exists southbound as well, since that would be less necessary.
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