When WCAX News visited Cambridge earlier this month, residents were fired up about new rumble strips.
"It sounds like a fog horn going off all the time every time somebody hits those rumble strips," Jennifer Sweet of Cambridge told us.
The grooves along Route 104 are designed to help keep people in their lanes. But neighbors say the noise was annoying during the day and kept them up at night.
And now, transportation officials say the strips were the wrong design. In an interview on The :30, Kevin Marshia of the Vt. Transportation Agency told Reporter Kristin Carlson the state is now looking to fix the problem.
Kevin Marshia: The way they were installed in Cambridge they are continuous with no gaps in between them and one of our specifications for them is that there be a 2-foot gap in between. There's a series, then a 2-foot gap in between, and we think that may be contributing to some of the noise issues and we are looking and seeing what we might be able to do to address that issue.
Kristin Carlson: How would you address something that's already done like that?
Marshia: Well, there's a number of ways. There are some materials that we could use to basically fill in some of those rumble strips.
The state does not yet know what it will cost to make the change.
Marshia says Cambridge residents are the only ones to complain about the grooves. The state has installed 80 miles of rumble strips on secondary roads and says those areas have seen an 11 percent drop in crashes and a 30 percent drop in wrecks with injuries. But those upset got the ear of the governor.
"There's been some objection to using them in passing lanes. That makes a lot of sense; they make a lot of noise. So, that's something we should look at," said Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont.
The governor says rumble strips are important safety tools, but he is not sure they should be installed on sections of road where people can pass other cars.
"I don't know if we should remove them, but we should listen very carefully to the citizens that have to live around those rumble strips and say the noise is bothering them and ask the obvious question-- rumble strips in passing lanes are going to get a lot of usage, should we be putting rumble strips in passing lanes? I'm not sure it makes common sense," Shumlin said.
The Transportation Agency is reviewing the future use of rumble strips and where to put them. A decision is expected in the coming months.
The state started using rumble strips on secondary roads three years ago.
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