It's not surprising the Crow Wing County Board recently decided to abandon the County Road 11 rumble strips project and forego about $60,000 in federal safety funds for the plan.
The board members' counterparts in Cass County received numerous complaints from nearby residents when they installed rumble strips - small continuous bumps along the edge of the road - on several roads. Cass County used federal funding to the tune of $80,618 for the project. The rumble strips were not a hit with nearby residents who complained of a continual, loud buzzing noise caused by vehicles that crossed the rumble strips. Cass County has since filled in a portion of the rumble strips at additional expense, alleviating the noise but negating the effectiveness of the strips.
Cass County wasn't the first county to install rumble strips and officials there shouldn't have been taken by surprise by the noise complaints. It seems that counties that are considering accepting federal money for rumble strips shouldn't start the project unless they're willing to put up with the complaints that are likely to accompany the installation.
Rumble strips, no doubt, do make roads safer but governing units have to weigh the inconvenience of the noise against the benefits of increased safety.
Crow Wing County decided to opt out of the potential federal funds and not install the strips. The experience of Cass County, which installed and then filled in some of the strips, was probably a key factor in Crow Wing County's decision.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.