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Botts’ Dots, after a half-century, will disappear from freeways, highways – Orange County Register

Botts’ Dots – the raised, rumbly markers between lanes on California’s highways and freeways  – are on their way out, with Caltrans saying it will no longer maintain or install them.

Named after Elbert Dysart Botts, the Caltrans engineer credited with the 1950s research that led to their creation, the dots spread across the nation as a way to stripe lanes.

The dots later become known for a different benefit: The powerful feedback when driving over them that could snap awake sleepy motorists.

But Caltrans is now taking a different route. After a half-century, federal transportation officials are encouraging California to dump them. Critics say the ceramic buttons aren’t reflective, don’t really help that much, mess up autonomous cars and don’t last very long.

“It’s an older technology that’s getting phased out,” said Gaspar Inzunza, a Caltrans maintenance supervisor in Orange County. “Having a newer technology completely…

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