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Mr. Drivetime Mahatma: Who is responsible for the repair or replacement of Alcoa Road in Benton? Traveling north across the overpass and turning right to enter the service road at the yield sign the road is like a rub board. I travel it every day and if you're not careful it will dislodge your front end. With all the money spent on Arkansas highways, why can't they put a little asphalt on this? -- Charles

Dear Charles: The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department claims responsibility for frontage roads along Interstate 30 in Saline and Pulaski counties. This from Johnathon Mormon, the District 6 maintenance engineer.

His office is aware of such problematic areas, and there is a short-term paving plan to address them with the help of the statewide milling crew. Some such work is planned for this summer.

There is also a long-term plan over the next three to five years to pave these areas, he said.

Translation: We're trying! We're trying!

Remember, Charles, that in November the voters of Arkansas have an opportunity to make permanent a half-percent sales tax for road improvements. Issue 1 would extend a sales tax that has been around since 2013 and will otherwise expire in 2023. Or not.

Is democracy grand, or what?

Wise One: Pedestrian injury and death is much too common and is almost always related to walking on roadways made for vehicles, not humans. A reasonable solution would be building sidewalks along our streets and roads in our more densely populated areas. This rather simple answer takes planning and money, so the future seems grim since the bureaucracy handles these two areas. -- Tom

Dear Tom: Good idea. Run for city council, wherever you live. Get elected. Persuade fellow council members to agree to higher expenditures for sidewalks.

Is democracy grand, or what?

In our town, city government got on a sidewalk-building campaign a few years ago. Built miles of it, including in our neighborhood. We already had a sidewalk on the other side of our street, so we weren't directly affected, but a substantial section of our block lost a chunk of front yard.

People didn't seem to mind, seeing the pros outweigh the cons. What with the pandemic, those sidewalks sometimes look like a human/canine conveyor belt.

Dear Mahatma: On the bottom of my handicap placard is the statement that it's to be removed when the vehicle is in motion. Yet I see many, many people driving down the road with their placard partially blocking their view. This doesn't apply to some people? -- To Obey Or Not Obey

Dear Obey: That is, indeed, the question. Whether it's mere forgetfulness to leave the placard hanging while driving, or to take it down as instructed, to end the unsafe obstruction of view.

Dudes, how hard is it to reach up, take down that placard and stick it in a map pocket in the driver-side door? Or the glove compartment?


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