Road trains and loud noises

For some reason, way back in 2013, we clipped this link about Melbourne’s East West Road Link back in 2013, a major infrastructure project that is still mired in controversy over cost, routes and delays. Road infrastructure projects are going to take a battering in the coming years, as budgets dry up and the circular thinking of induced demand is challenged. It also got us thinking about the noise of the internal combustion engine. It is incredibly easy for researchers to map and track the colossal reduction in traffic, but for everyone else, the heightened sense of silence says so much more. Re-introducing the internal combustion engine into this environment is going to come as a very unpleasant shock. In fact, we’d hazard a guess that anything that deliberately rises above the faint whirr and buzz of a Prius is going to seem even more anti-social and out of step than it previously was.

Electric cars are legally supposed to make some noise, after it was decided they were dangerously quiet. Exactly what sounds will be is a matter for conjecture and extensive customer clinics, with most agreeing that certain companies will evolve certain sounds, and that an aural signature that conveys sophistication, wealth, quality, prestige, etc., is going to make sound designer(s) a lot of money. And as a direct result, deliberate excess noise, such as that generated by carefully tuned engine and exhaust systems (or even delivery mopeds), will become a thing of the past. Although there’s a temptation be for temporary road closures to become permanent, in all probability traffic will bounce right back to 110% of where it was before. Hopefully we’ll then realise just how awful it is.

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Some other things. Why not condense all your traffic into a road train, originating in Australia’s Northern Territory and flourishing in the post-war era. Mostly for goods, they had military origins. The longest are usually put together for record-breaking purposes, but which usually max out at around 175 feet for a BAB-quad road trains. But will old school drivers soon give way to automation? / some virtual landscapes to wander around / architects share sketches and observations of life at home / Jackson Hole becomes a sanctuary for the super-rich / the first step towards building a giant telescope on the dark side of the Moon / a caravan that tows itself. Perhaps it could take itself on holiday?

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