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Drivetime Mahatma by Frank Fellone
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A weekly column about Arkansas drivers and the roads they traverse.
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DRIVETIME: U.S. 67/167 road work getting old

posted: 03/17/2018 4:30 a.m. Discuss

Dear Mahatma: Got a call from an Arkansas State University teacher who lives in Little Rock and commutes to Jonesboro. (Insert several exclamation points.) She's fed up with the construction work through Jacksonville that's been going on for years. I never see anybody working, and the cops don't patrol the area. She is scared to drive slow through there because people tailgate. How much longer? -- Old (and growing older) Friend.

Drivetime Mahatma: Computer, not swami, opens bids

posted: 03/10/2018 3:10 a.m. Discuss

Dear Mahatma: In the newspaper, the Arkansas Department of Transportation is always "opening low bids" on projects worth a gazillion shekels. This amazes me. Do they have a staff swami who holds the bids to his head and declares "This is the one?" How does the Mahatma feel about having a swami working his town? -- Impressed

Drivetime Mahatma: Use 2 lanes to merge, go in peace

posted: 03/03/2018 2:44 a.m. Comments 3

Dear Mahatma: I often encounter the convergence of two lanes of a highway or access road to one, with signage seeming to give ownership of the resulting single lane to one row of vehicles. The result is often a long line of cars proceeding slowly in one lane and refusing entry to those in the other. Wouldn't peace and safety be enhanced by requiring both lanes to merge carefully rather than attempting to give precedence to one or the other? -- One Seeking Guidance

Drivetime Mahatma: No signs on on-ramp? Accelerate

posted: 02/24/2018 2:35 a.m. Comments 2

Dear Mahatma: I have tried several times to get a definitive answer to this question and hope you can help. If you turn from a county road with a speed limit of 35 mph onto an entry ramp that is approximately a half-mile long, merging into a divided highway with a posted speed limit of 60 mph, what is the speed limit on the ramp if no speed limit sign is posted? -- Nick

Drivetime Mahatma: Sweepers, hands snag road debris

posted: 02/17/2018 2:55 a.m. Comments 2

Sir: With the frequent use of concrete bunker-like lane dividers on our four- and six-lane highways, the trash problem increases, an unintended consequence, perhaps, of that design. How is the above addressed? Slow-moving street sweepers, human or mechanical, must be hazards. -- Jennie

Drivetime Mahatma: Buckle up: 'Nuff said about that

posted: 02/10/2018 2:48 a.m. Comments 2

Oh Wise One: In viewing deadly traffic accidents published almost daily in the newspaper, I've noticed an unusually large number of these untimely ascensions to the hereafter have occurred with the occupants being ejected from their vehicle. In your humble opinion and after contacting your multiple sources, do you think all these people are unbelted or are we seeing a certain percentage of seat-belt failures? -- Puzzled But Belted

Drivetime Mahatma: Click, call to report faded lines

updated: 02/03/2018 2:28 a.m. Comment 1

Dear Good Humor Person: I recently departed my domicile in Little Rock destined for an eatery located on Bowman Road south of Chenal Parkway. On that day a torrential rainfall began. After turning east on Chenal from Loyola Street I was overcome by a sense of mortal danger! The rain had obliterated the center line markings on Chenal, as well as the yellow and white lines on the edges of the roadway. May I inquire who is responsible for allowing the deterioration of these safety features? -- Trembling in the Rain

Drivetime Mahatma: Plates age, get too dim for officers

posted: 01/27/2018 2:24 a.m. Comments 4

Dear All Knowing: Why do license plates have to be replaced every eight years? -- Curious John

Drivetime Mahatma: I-30 bypass via U.S. 67? Forget that

posted: 01/20/2018 2:49 a.m. Comment 1

Dear Mahatma: To alleviate traffic congestion caused by the reconstruction of the Interstate 30 corridor, have the powers that be considered extending U.S. 67-167 south from its intersection with Interstate 40, building a new bridge over the Arkansas River, and connecting it to the east end of Interstate 630? If this was built first, the new route would greatly reduce traffic on I-30 during construction, then provide a permanent alternate route to downtown. -- Gayle

Drivetime Mahatma: I-30B idea looked at, round-filed

posted: 01/13/2018 2:27 a.m. Comment 1

Dear Mahatma: Has anyone considered changing Interstate 440 into Interstate 30 east of North Little Rock? It's already three lanes and would be easy to widen. Then the current congested I-30 through downtown Little Rock could be I-30B. -- Judy

Drivetime Mahatma: Turn lanes for turning, not passing

posted: 01/06/2018 2:37 a.m. Discuss

Dear Mahatma: I want clarification on the center turn lane on a four-lane street. I know it's for left turns and not intended as a travel lane. What about cars coming out of a business, wanting to turn left? Is it legal to use it as a staging lane while cars are legally passing by in the fast lane? I've had cars come in on my left, race by and cut in front of me. -- Nyle

Drivetime Mahatma: DRIVETIME MAHATMA: Department installing reflectors on I-30 to stop wrong-way crashes

posted: 12/30/2017 4:28 a.m. Discuss

Dear Mahatma: The Arkansas Department of Transportation has started installing reflective markers on both sides of the frontage roads on Interstate 30 between Bryant and Benton. Could you advise as to why? -- Southwest

Drivetime Mahatma: DRIVETIME MAHATMA: The grass is greener on west side

posted: 12/23/2017 4:29 a.m. Comment 1

Dear Mahatma: I live in Little Rock's midtown but happened to drive out west not long ago. I noticed how nice and green and pretty are the medians that divide Chenal Parkway. They made those ugly, asphalt-covered dividers on University Avenue all the more unattractive. Why are we getting the landscape shaft? Is the city willing to replant those medians with something alive? -- Green with Envy

Drivetime Mahatma: Cable spot up to soil, road slope

posted: 12/16/2017 3:21 a.m. Discuss

While traveling Arkansas interstates, I've noticed retaining fences are close to one lane, but a few miles down the road they're close to the opposite lane. They seem to change at an overpass or small bridge over a low area. Why is that? Wouldn't it be safer if they put the retaining fences in the middle of the median? -- Just Wondering

Drivetime Mahatma: State quick to fix signs at on-ramp

posted: 12/09/2017 3:08 a.m. Comments 2

Dear Mahatma: The new on-ramp at Cantrell Road and Interstate 430 is an engineering marvel, but signs directing traffic to the ramp are deceptive and dangerous. I followed the sign pointing to the right, rounded the bend at merging speed and was in somebody's driveway! I slammed on my brakes and narrowly avoided a terrible accident. The people living in that house must be tired of hearing screeching tires in their driveway! -- John






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