Dear Mahatma: Thanks to new construction, Kanis Road how has three lanes with the middle for turning. Why when Kanis reaches Gamble Road, where the three lanes end, is there no turn lane south onto Gamble? It would alleviate through traffic west on Kanis from having to stop for those of us turning left onto Gamble. -- Mary H.
Dear Mary: The city traffic guys pondered this matter and responded.
In this phase of construction, they said, it's necessary to taper the center turn lane for the safety of the west-bound through traffic as traffic approaches Gamble. To provide a separated left turn lane at Gamble would force the westbound traffic into a severe lane shift in the intersection, which is unsafe at the design speed of the roadway.
But wait! There's more!
The planned widening of Kanis at this location will include separated turn lanes at Gamble Road.
Dear Mahatma: Noticed a lot of work on U.S. 67/167 in White County, clearing of the right of way on both sides far back from the highway. A multitude of trees have been sawed off at an angle for miles. It doesn't look like the Natural State. What might be the reasoning for this? -- Chuck
Dear Chuck: A whole lot is happening on this roadway from the White County line to Arkansas 17 at Newport, a distance of 27 miles undergoing rehabilitation.
Clearing, we are told by the Arkansas Department of Transportation, is taking place where needed. Why the clearing? Design requirements for a four-lane divided highway include a 40-foot clear zone for traffic that might leave the road. Over time, trees along this highway have grown and encroached.
Tree growth also affects drainage. Poor drainage causes standing water on the right of way and may back up onto private property. Controlled access fencing on the line of right of way must also be maintained.
Dear Mahatma: I'm taking the AARP defensive driving class. Can you refer me to a source to find and identify highway signs? -- Sam I Am
Dear Sam: We recommend the Arkansas Driver License Study Guide, a publication of the Arkansas State Police.
Actually, we recommend this publication as a source for nearly every driving question.
To the Duke of Drivetime, Viscount of Vehicles, Sultan of Steering: I pondered the conundrum of the reader who saw the POTUS vanity plate. As in President of the United States. I dug around and found an older meaning. Potus is Latin for drinking, from the Latin poto, meaning "I drink." The owner of the plate might be a Latin scholar. -- Tommy T
Dear Tommy: Latin bedevils us still, a lifetime after we studied it poorly in high school. We think of our parents, who shuddered every time we came home with a report card.
Now that we think about it, "potted" is a euphemism for intoxicated. Could it be a derivative of potus?
Latin lives on in our slang, it appears. Veni, vidi, vici, baby.