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OPINION | DRIVETIME MAHATMA: Easy-riding cart driver is OK to go

by Frank Fellone | June 12, 2021 at 11:01 a.m.

Dear Mahatma: Here's a hardball question. My brother is disabled and lives two blocks from Kroger in North Little Rock. Can he drive a cart -- like they have in the store or similar -- from his house to the store on either the sidewalk or the street? -- Softball Player

Dear Softball: Our immediate reaction is to advise you to say sayonara to your brother if he drives a motorized grocery cart on a city street. That's a hardball answer, no?

Visualize ... motorized grocery cart versus Chevy Suburban. The mental picture isn't pretty.

But due diligence requires us to ask the opinion of the North Little Rock Police Department, so we pitched the problem to Sgt. Carmen Helton, the public information officer. She in turn pitched it to the traffic division.

We now quote directly from the traffic division.

"To answer Softball Player's question I think it would be okay for their brother to go to Kroger as long as he uses sidewalks. If he has to be on the street he needs to obey all the traffic laws as any motor vehicle or even bicycles. Safety is the key while on the street as well as the sidewalk. They need to remember that it is harder for drivers to see the scooter traveling on the street and the scooter doesn't move fast enough to get out of the way.

"If they have to travel on the street due to there being no sidewalk, they need to remember not to impede traffic, [and to] have some type of reflector, or even a light, like used on bicycles. This would be for their safety, not a requirement."

We now quote Little Richard, as we imagine your brother scooting along a city street in his grocery cart: "Lawdy Miss Clawdy!"

Dear Mahatma: Do you know why there's no movement on the widening of Arkansas 5 from the Pulaski County line and Interstate 30 in Saline County? Especially the section between Arkansas 183 (Reynolds Road) and Alcoa Road? There as been virtually nothing done there for about a year. -- Faithful Reader

Dear Reader: We are fixing to convey an update from ArDot, the Arkansas Department of Transportation.

Between Reynolds Road and Alcoa Road, the construction is about 97% complete and should be done by Oct. 1.

From Reynolds Road west to Interstate 30, construction will begin in August.

From Alcoa Road east to the Pulaski County line, that job is scheduled for 2024.

It's been famously said about the law, but can be said about highway construction: The wheels of ArDot grind slowly, but exceedingly fine.

Dear Mahatma: I saw my first new plate. I think it is the 31st issued. -- James

Dear James: Thanks for passing along a pix of plate AAA 31A. It's for sure one of the first to be issued with the new sequence of three letters, two numbers, one letter.

Meanwhile, the search continues for the last old plate -- 999 ZZZ.

[email protected]

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story included an incorrect photo.

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