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'Mumble strips' replace rumble strips on Macomb County roads

Posted at 6:25 AM, Oct 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-01 06:25:36-04

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. (WXYZ) — Mumble strips are taking the place of traditional rumble strips in Macomb County.

Rumble strips on the edge and centerlines of roads and highways are used to keep drivers alert and prevent head-on and run-off crashes. Mumble strips function like rumble strips, except they produce less noise. The Macomb County Department of Roads is one of the first road agencies in Michigan to use the new technology.

“With [mumble strips], your tires still bump down and up, but less abruptly,” said Mia Silver, MCDR project engineer, in a news release. “It’s quieter outside the vehicle and it’s also quieter inside the vehicle, but it is still loud enough inside the vehicle to provide effective feedback to the driver.”

MCDR hopes that the mumble strips, funded with a grant from MDOT, will reduce the number of crashes and fatalities in the county.

“Macomb was looking for applications, technologies that can help with run-off-road or head-on crashes on two-lane roadways,” said John Abraham, Ph.D., PE, PTOE, director of traffic and operations for MCDR. “We conducted thorough research on [mumble strips], looked at the design elements, and talked to our partners at MDOT who were also looking at this application. We came to a consensus that this could work for us.”