Civic Musical Road – Lancaster, California - Atlas Obscura

Civic Musical Road

Finale of "William Tell Overture" can be heard as drivers pass over grooves in the road. 

279
1150

Originally created for a Honda commercial in September 2008, the Civic Musical Road consists of strategically placed grooves that, when driven over, produce the musical notes to the finale of Rossini’s “William Tell Overture.”

Located in Lancaster, California, the original road was constructed on Avenue K, but city officials paved over it 18 days later due to noise complaints from the nearby neighbors. It was reported that the neighbors were also sick of the “crazy behavior” of some of the drivers.

The road was rebuilt on Avenue G in October 2008 and remains there to this day. The new location is two miles away from any residential areas, therefore presenting less problems for the locals. Visitors who wish to hear the musical piece must stay in the far left lane of the three-lane road. Though many drivers have tried the road at multiple speeds, it is said that driving at 55mph provides the optimal sound quality. Incidentally, 55pmh is also the posted speed limit.

Other “musical” or “singing” roads are located in Japan, South Korea and Holland. There is also a musical road in Albuquerque, New Mexico (on Route 66/US-40) that plays “America the Beautiful.” 

Know Before You Go

From Lancaster, take Highway 14 north, exit at Avenue G and go west.

Atlas Obscura Trips

City of Secrets: Underground in Los Angeles

On this an insider’s journey into the City of Angeles, we'll discover the murals and art of the famous Arts district with a resident artist, clink glasses at an underground speakeasy, and hike through hidden ruins with a suspicious past, all in pursuit of the less angelic side of the City of Angels.