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Dear Mahatma: A phenomenon occurred as I approached Arkansas 60 in Houston while traveling on Arkansas 216 out of Perryville. A large green sign indicated Conway was 17 miles away. Immediately after completing a right turn another large green sign told us Conway was suddenly two miles farther. We felt no sudden movement, and could see no indication of a land shift. We wondered how often these phenomena occur. -- Retired and Riding the Roads

Dear Retired: Did you know that "retired" is just another word for "unemployed"?

We recall a similar matter some years ago. Another reader was perplexed about different distances to Malvern. We passed that information along to the Arkansas Department of Transportation. And we have done so again.

Our place is not to defend the department, but it does have something like 17,000 miles of highway under its jurisdiction. Think about how many signs that is. The mind boggles.

Come to think of it, we recently saw a similar discrepancy driving from town to town in, of all states, Wisconsin. This was in the vicinity of a place named Spread Eagle.

No, we are not making this up. Spread Eagle appears mostly to be home to a tavern featuring exotic dancers. No, we are not making this up.

Update! The Department of Transportation says District 8 crews will determine the correct mileage and fix the signs accordingly. The department thanks readers of this column for tips such as this.

Dear Mahatma: I pull into the left lane to pass a slowpoke, but before I can move back into the right lane, people driving over 80 mph whiz around me on the right. Therefore, I am stuck in the left lane, waiting until the caravan finishes passing me on the right. Perhaps they haven't read the signs, or they would know it's the left lane that's for passing. --Irritated Motorist

Dear Irritated: You refer to the signs which say "State Law Slower Traffic Keep Right." The first two words, in blazing yellow, have recently been added to the top of signs all over Arkansas.

The fault is not in the signage or the law, or the stars, as Cassius said to Brutus. The problem is with impatient drivers, people who may see themselves as privileged. Or especially busy. As if.

As our old friend Clyde McGinnis used to say, everyone is good for something, even if it's to show others how not to be.

Note to teens: Cassius and Brutus are not cartoon characters. Ruh-roh!

Dear Mahatma: Driving west on Rodney Parham Road, when approaching the entrance to Interstate 430, are two red arrows pointing to the left. Is it legal to turn left on the red arrow if no oncoming traffic is approaching? -- Marti

Negatory. A left turn here is permitted only on green, or yellow if safe.

Some intersections now have flashing yellow arrows. It's OK to turn left on such a signal if safe, meaning yield to oncoming traffic.

Metro on 09/28/2019


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