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OPINION | DRIVETIME MAHATMA: Pavement calls for reflection

by Frank Fellone | March 13, 2021 at 8:17 a.m.

Dear Mahatma: Ah, we come full circle. The first question I sent years ago was about blue raised pavement markers in Diaz and Tuckerman. They eventually disappeared and were never replaced. I estimate 99 percent of markers between Newark and Batesville were scrapped off in the snowstorm. And from all the snow reports I'll bet this will be the biggest replacement job ARDOT has had to date. I'll bet 99 percent statewide have been scrapped off. -- Newark

Dear Newark: It's wholly a pleasure to hear from one of our favorite small, wonderful towns in our small, wonderful state. For those who don't know, Newark is roughly midway between Batesville and Newport, and just a little bit from metropolitan Magness. Did we mention the nearness of Oil Trough?

The reference to blue pavement markers was in this space a couple of weeks ago. A reader wanted to know what they were, spaced intermittently along his town's streets. Ah, we replied, they mark the location of fire hydrants.

The question now at hand seems to involve all kinds of pavement markers, especially those on multilane highways.

So what about those lane dividers, which also provide reflection for night driving?

David Nilles, a spokesguy for the Arkansas Department of Transportation, agrees that snowplows can wipe out reflectors. Didn't we have some snow in February? The latest victims will be replaced come spring, he said, and an order for reflectors has already been made.

He adds that in recent years ArDot has also used an adhesive tape with a reflective surface, an example of which is on Interstate 430 in Pulaski County.

Yo, Newark, don't give up promoting the installation of all kinds of pavement markers. It's well known in traffic circles that the squeaky wheel gets the guardrail.

Look at Little Italy, a small, wonderful place in the verdant hills of western Pulaski County.

Little Italy is served by Arkansas 300. It's also served by persistent people such as Kristy Eanes. She and others have been concerned about a curve on the highway that was the scene of many a car wreck and even bicycle accidents.

Ms. Eanes brought this matter to the attention of ArDot, and to the attention of County Judge Barry Hyde, and to the attention of this column, assuming it has influence. As if.

She did this repeatedly, and the county judge worked out a deal with ArDot to make safety improvements, including a guardrail, in the spring of 2020.

We are in receipt of a recent email sent by Ms. Eanes to County Judge Hyde and to Lorie Tudor, director of ArDot.

Since the improvements, Ms. Eanes writes, "I personally never heard or saw any accidents (vehicle, motorcycle, bike) and none have been reported to me by neighbors."

She adds: "Bottom line is you've saved lives. Thank you for listening to the people and implementing these needed upgrades."

Dr. Jim Robnolt of Sherwood sends in a vanity plate, seen on a white Mustang: BYE COP.


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