It developed as a novel method to regulate speed on local roads, and ended up being more disturbing than helpful. Leeuwarden in the Netherlands had just been named European Culture Capital and wanted to celebrate by having the  anthem of northern Friesland played out when cars drove over the nearby highway at the correct speed.

As the BBC News reported that all sounds well and good and would have been entertaining for the drivers. But no one expected that the  sound created by driving over “strategically-laid rumble strips“, would travel to adjacent residences.  The melody when driven over at 60 km/h would be loud enough to disturb citizens who called the acoustical project ” psychological torture”.

Vehicle drivers also quickly discovered that if they doubled their speed over the adhesive strips that they could play the tune twice as fast. Complaints led to the dismantling of the acoustical project one day after it was implemented.

Engineers and politicians took the removal as a good news/bad news scenario. While the project cost 80,000 Euros (120,000 Canadian dollars) and clearly worked, other venues in more remote location would be more suitable for future installations.

You can take a look at the YouTube video below to see how the singing road worked, and why this repetitive song “drove residents to distraction“.

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