OPINION | DRIVETIME MAHATMA: Snarl at Conway intersection will be addressed in roundabout way

Dear Mahatma: Don't know if this is a problem for the state or the city of Conway, but is there ever a chance that a traffic light could be put up at the intersection where Hogan Road in Conway meets U.S. 64? Trying to get on the highway there, especially trying to make a left to turn west, is frustrating, not to mention dangerous. Thank you for your column. -- Frustrated

Dear Frustrated: Let's go straight to the answer.

Jason Hughey is chief cook, bottle washer and engineer for District 8 of the Arkansas Department of Transportation. His district includes fast-growing Faulkner County. The U.S. Census says about 125,000 people now live in Faulkner County. That's a growth rate of about 10% from the 2010 population of 113,000-ish. And a lot of them drive.

Hughey shared good news. A construction project scheduled for later this year will make improvements at this spot. A roundabout will be built to improve traffic flow for users of Hogan Lane and U.S. 64, also known as the Old Morrilton Highway.

Bids to be accepted midyear. The project is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2024. That's the best estimate, Hughey said.

Vanity plate on a black Jeep: BLKBTTY. To which we can only add -- bam ba lam.

Dear Paper Guy: Recently I was having dinner at a location well above and two to three hundred feet from the Chenal Expressway when a car passed. The exhaust noise was so bad it literally hurt my ability to hear for a few minutes. The law that forbids this sort of thing used to be enforced. Some people just don't care about other people. -- Larry

Dear Larry: An old friend used to say that everyone is good for something, even if it's to show others how not to be. Here is an excellent example.

The statute in question is Arkansas Code Annotated 27-37-601. It says every motor vehicle shall, at all times, be equipped with a factory-installed muffler. Or one duplicating factory specifications. It must be in good working order, in constant operation, and prevent excessive or unusual noise and annoying smoke.

Vanity plate on a Honda: SWEETY1.

Oh Exalted Ruler of the Road Rules: I spied this transporter plate the other day and wondered about its parentage. This appeared to be an ordinary passenger vehicle, so it got me considering its purpose. -- Fort Smith

Dear Smith: Such plates may be issued to a person or corporation, other than a dealer, regularly engaged in driving or towing vehicles from manufacturer to dealer or from dealer to dealer.

An applicant, in addition to the usual licensing requirements, must provide the names of dealers and manufacturers to and from which the vehicles are transported.

Maybe this ordinary passenger vehicle tows Smart cars, many of which weigh less than a ton.

Vanity plate: MERICAN. We hypothesize "American," as in Lee Greenwood's song, "Proud To Be A Merican."