More Vt. roads get rumble strips - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

More Vt. roads get rumble strips

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When you look at Route 104 in Cambridge it's picturesque, but when you listen, well, it's simply a mess.

"It sounds like a fog horn going off all the time every time somebody hits those rumble strips," said Jennifer Sweet of Cambridge.

"It's vroom, vroom and like the whole way down," said Diancy Boyden of Cambridge.

This summer, state crews installed rumble strips down the center of the busy stretch. The shallow grooves serve as a safety feature for drivers who veer from their lanes, but folks who live and work in the area say the result is tons of noise that's bothering folks by day and keeping them up at night.

"It's gone downhill pretty much because I haven't had a full night's sleep since July when they did this," Sweet said.

Crews with Vermont's Agency of Transportation have used rumble strips on the interstate for years. Recently a new pilot program has introduced the technology to other less traveled roadways around the state.

"It started in 2000 and did about 370 miles of the interstate. We've done 30 miles on other roads. This summer we're hoping to get another 40 miles in, so it will be 70 on secondary roads," said Brent Curtis of the Vt. Transportation Agency.

Folks at the AOT are acknowledging concerns over the noise from the strips and are currently assessing whether they will stay along 104. While the noise may be getting mixed reviews, its benefits are not.

"They're proving not only in Vermont but across the country to be very effective in addressing drivers who are drowsy, drivers who are distracted. So as they drift off to the side of the road, suddenly the noise as well as the vibration brings them back and alert again," Curtis said.

Neighbors within earshot of the new grooves say the safety measures aren't needed and it's time for the rumble strips to go.

"I think it's inhumane to do this to people who live here," Boyden said.

"I want them out and so do 80 other people that have signed a petition that's going down to the governor. They want them out," Sweet said.

The Agency of Transportation is slated to make a decision on the future of the strips by winter.

Drivers say the grooves present additional challenges for folks riding bikes. Many move toward the middle of the lane to avoid the bumps.

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