Sunday, September 23, 2007

Landscape Rock

If you've never driven the 215 loop around Vegas, especially to the west and north, you should do yourself the favor.   In direct contrast to just about every inch of highway in the rest of the country, Clark County, in the case of the "Bruce Woodsbury Memorial Parkway" has chosen, in place of boring old vegetation, to use ornamental rock to adorn medians and shoulders.

Specifically, white rock.   And lots of it.

In addition to its shocking visual uniformity, this white rock has the added feature of pretty much shutting down anyone who somehow manages - no matter how innocently - to wander off the pavement - immediately.   You don't get much of a chance to pull back out of disaster if you happen to drift out into la terra riscoso blanco.

(Think "Heat" tire-spikes, only without all the gunfire and malice.)

The very first thing you would notice would be the large black scraps of rubber, which used to be your tires, flying past your window as you cartwheel across the mock-moonscape.   Yay, fun.

Keep your insurance company on speed-dial and God be with you.


Anonymous said...

Actually this is a pretty good solution. Vegetation needs irrigation, rock typically does not.
Rock & gravel are frequently used as truck arrestor beds:

Besides, the stark lunar white is a pleasant change from the majestic saguaro, towering redwoods, or other such roadside diversions.

Lavi D. said...

You make a good point concerning water conservation.

But I've seen the remains of cars that have been "arrested" by this stuff.

More like "shredded".

melissa said...

And wouldn't you know, last Saturday I had a blow out on 215. The best part is that the tire that was out was closest to the road once I pulled over. I enjoyed the inch of leeway between me and the cars going 90.

Lavi D. said...

Only 90, huh? Sounds like a traffic jam.

The_Scum said... anonymouse poster #1 noted runaway truck ramps are constructed very similarly.

The idea of having cars running of the road and side shoulder or into the median being stopped passively could indeed save lives.

I'd rather have a trashed car with shot tires than a headon collision with Joe6Pack and his family when I pass out at the wheel. I'm sure Joe and his family would appreciate that as well.

The gravel will also reduce the number of single vehicle fatalities and injuries due to the driver who veers off the road and over corrects causing the vehicle to start flipping or rolling several times in Nascar good ole boy style.

the 'arrested' vehicle driver at least has a better chance of walking away and being able to someday trash yet another vehicle...which is good for our consumption driven economy....hah ah ahhaahh.

Lavi D. said...


You guys obviously haven't driven out here. This is not gravel

It is fist-sized rocks. You will not come back from a drift off into the median unscathed.

If you drift off and wander into the median just about anywhere else in the country... Well the general rowdiness in the steering should wake you up and perhaps put the fear of velocity in you. Here, however, you will find yourself tumbling end-over-end instead.

The_Scum said...

I'll have to check it out.

Perhaps it's some sort of Highway Department Darwinian progress effort?

Eliminate bad drivers from the gene pool?

The_Scum said...

Heat is a great movie. The spray and pray running gunbattle coming out of the bank is one of the best ever put on the big screen in my opinion.

"A guy told me one time, 'Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.'"

"'Cause there is a dead man on the other end of this fuckin' line"

vinnymoe said...

I've been on this stretch of road in a green Bronco. Would NOT go off road. These are Rocks,Not gravel!
Ther may be some civil engineering reason for this, such as hitting a large pocket of sand while cutting the road through the hill or keeping runoff from washing silt/sand onto the road during a big downpour. More likly(knowing how road projects work in a fast moving/expanding desert town) Someone had 700 Tons of 5" minus to get rid of and someone found a way to use it...cha-ching!

Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in, the only cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas ... with the music at top volume and at least a pint of ether.

-Hunter S. Thompson

Dedicated to the other side of Las Vegas, namely; the sprawling, mad, incoherent underpinnings of the world's favorite destination.

That, and the occasional ranting about nothing in particular.