You see them all over El Paso and the entire state of Texas. You can't go around them so you just run over them but why are they there in the first place?

They're made out of rubber and don't stand very high so they are no danger to your vehicle or your tires.

They're not just for looks or to get you to slow down or anything but they are doing several important jobs.

They are called "pneumatic road tubes" and they can pop up anywhere although some locations, about 300 across the lone star state, are set up permanently.

What Do Pneumatic Road Tubes Do?

These tubes gather all kinds of data including measuring gaps between vehicles, intersection stop delays, stop sign delays and traveling time among other things.

How Do Pneumatic Road Tubes Work?

They use air pressure.

That air pressure pulses close to an air switch, which is able to create an electrical signal that’s then sent back to a counter or analysis software synced with the tube.

Here in the Lone Star State, the Texas Department of Transportation collects roughly 82,000 short-term traffic volume counts each year along with approximately 1,000 vehicle classification counts, per its traffic count maps database. Among those counts collected, nearly half of them — 46.9% — are used to track traffic volume, according to the database. - KXAN

All this info helps to keep traffic flowing as smoothly as possible. I know, traffic isn't always that smooth but imagine how much worse it would be if they weren't tracking these things ...

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