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Dear Mahatma: The intersection of Brockington Road and Arkansas 107 in Sherwood is an accident that just hasn't happened yet. Drivers proceeding west on Brockington and turning right (north) onto 107 have little room or time to decide if they can continue. There's no ramp parallel to 107. The situation is complicated by the 55 mph speed limit for drivers approaching from the south. -- Lou in Sherwood

Dear Lou: We tossed this to Mark Headley, chief engineer for District 6 of the Arkansas Department of Transportation. He routed it to his traffic and roadway design engineers for their input.

ArDot sees nothing wrong with the intersection, which meets standards for yield control on right-turn movements. Those standards are set by the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices, a publication of the Federal Highway Administration.

The MUTCD aims to standardize best and safest highway designs across the nation. Traffic engineers bow to it daily.

Headley said traffic moving from Brockington west to 107 north must yield, according to signage there. When the signal stops traffic on 107, the movement should be easy to make safely. If northbound traffic isn't stopped, then drivers at the yield sign on Brockington should wait for a proper gap in traffic to merge.

Dear Mahatma: I park in a busy parking garage. Why do people who don't drive well moving forward think they can successfully back into a parking space? They hold up traffic making their four to five attempts to get the vehicle straight. This practice routinely backs up 8-10 cars for several minutes while the driver tries to get it right. While I've read that it's safer to drive out than back out of a parking space, I think these drivers like holding up traffic. -- Irritated Amy

Dear Amy: The Fabulous Babe swears it's safer to pull through a nose-in parking space into the connecting space, so as to pull out when leaving. She does this whenever possible in parking lots, and now we do, too. Pulling forward is easier and feels safer than backing out.

She's right about this, and about most everything else. If you don't believe that, ask her.

Does backing into a parking spot disrupt others? No more than backing out.

Whether backing into or out of a parking space, it's best to actually turn around and look, even though back-up cameras and other safety technology is available. They supplement, but do not replace, a driver's eternal vigilance.

Don't park forward-facing under three conditions. First, into a diagonal spot, because it requires about 1.2 million tiny turns. Perhaps this is what's happening in that parking garage. Second, when there's a snootload of junk in the trunk to be removed. Third, when signage says not to.

BTW, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that about 15,000 people are injured every year in back-up collisions, mostly in parking lots and driveways.

Vanity plate seen on a van: 2MNYKDS.

Metro on 02/08/2020


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