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Dear Mahatma: Our city engineers lack confidence in our ability to parallel park. They waste six parking spots per block on Main Street with stripes on the pavement between parking spaces and there's not a fire hydrant in sight. Lucky for me, meter maids don't work at night and I can always find a parking spot. -- 1971 graduate of Coach Kretchmier's Driver's Ed Parallel Parking Class

Dear Graduate: The city engineer we turn to in such matters is Bill Henry, chief cook, bottle washer and manager of traffic engineering for Little Rock.

Yo, we asked, what is the purpose of those striped areas to which our reader refers?

Those are maneuvering spaces so drivers can get into the parking spaces, Mr. Henry said.

Can we park in these spaces?

No, Mr. Henry said, and sent along a couple of diagrams, one with and one without the striped spaces. Based on the diagrams, we conclude it's easier to park when the engineers put in those spacers. We are personally one of the worst parallel parkers in U.S. history, and so appreciate the thought.

On the flip side, yes, those spaces are lost. As the philosopher said: Life's a booger, and everything's a trade-off.

On another vehicular topic, we spent 90 minutes at our local Revenue Office one day this week. Then spent 75 minutes at the Big Revenue Office behind the state Capitol the next day. We registered our new truck.

We learned that:

• It's important to assess your new vehicle BEFORE waiting 90 minutes for your number, 37, to be called.

• It's important to have the correct proof of insurance BEFORE waiting 90 minutes for your number, 37, to be called.

• When your number is 37, morale takes a tumble when a revenue agent calls out "double zero!"

• You will never get back that 90 minutes.

• Based on casual observation, our local Revenue Office is seriously understaffed.

• Based on casual observation, we don't want that job, because the public can be grumpy.

• It's inadvisable to drink a second cup of coffee before heading to the Revenue Office. Because if you have to hit the head, as sailors say, and your number is called ... oh, the humanity.

• Packing a sandwich is a good idea, because after an hour of sitting numbly, the stomach starts to growl and fuss. Turkey and Swiss, lettuce and tomato, rye bread and mustard. Because who knows when the next meal will come along?

• When your number is called, jump up and shout "Yeah, baby!" lest the revenue agent call the next number. A fate worse than death.

• The Big Revenue Office behind the state Capitol is lucky to have Angela working there. A tip of the old chapeau, Angela, for being so nice and so efficient.

• All's well that ends well, but we sure do miss that 90 minutes.

Vanity plate for a Rackensacker: DULSMER

Metro on 03/16/2019

Print Headline: DRIVETIME MAHATMA: Stripes aid parkers in tight spots on Little Rock's Main Street


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Archived Comments

  • GeneralMac
    March 16, 2019 at 10:09 a.m.

    Since "assess" was mentioned..

    My neighbor showed me his assessed values which drop every year.

    However, on his one of 4 vehicles (an 09 Mercury Marquis) the valuation INCREASED 8% from last year.

    When he returned and asked why, he was told....Little Rock does the assessing for valuations.

  • HarleyOwner
    March 16, 2019 at 2:02 p.m.

    There is no way I would go to the DMV behind the State Capitol. It's a lot faster at one of the branch offices.

  • NoUserName
    March 16, 2019 at 7:31 p.m.

    I've always had pretty good luck at the revenue office/WLR. I've also found employees in general to be particularly incompetent and uninformed regarding state law/policies. Any time I've had trouble, I've gone up the ladder and had good success. State actually reimbursed me for a license plate I was told I had to get when registering a new vehicle.
    That being said, I was screwed by being given, without asking or being asked, an 8 year license in 2016. Which means, if I want a RealID in 2020, I have to get a replacement/new license rather than getting one in the normal course of a renewal.
    Mac - if I were your neighbor, I'd contact the county assessor directly because that does seem odd.

  • LR1955
    March 17, 2019 at 8:19 a.m.

    NUN, The Arkansas Voluntary Enhanced Security Driver’s License (DL) only became available Oct 3, 2016.
    I recently spent over an hour in line at the WLR/Ashley Square DFA office to get the enhanced DL. Partway into entering my data & scans into the computer, this employee’s network connection locked up. Another employee re-entered it into his and it went right thru. The picture taking went quick too.
    Tip: the Lines are the longest the first or last couple days of the month.