Dear Mahatma: I drove on Cantrell Hill around noon Tuesday and they had the outside lane closed off and about six bucket trucks parked. I was so excited!!! -- Junior Mahatma Deputy Paula
Dear Paula: You refer, of course, to the installation of working streetlights on uphill/downhill and twisting Cantrell Road from Riverdale to Kavanaugh Boulevard, give or take.
Some of these lights, not working, were the subject of a Q & A in this space back in August. The city's traffic engineer, Bill Henry, sent a work order to Entergy. Also known as Ma Electric. As in Ma Bell ... get it?
We take no credit. All credit to Paula, for bringing this to light (was that a pun?); Mr. Henry for alacrity; and Entergy for its workers.
Sir: Rumble strips on the roadways are a great invention, but oh, where to place them? On Arkansas 25 they are on the right-side white line and the yellow center dividing lines. Other roads have them well to the right of the white line. Even interstate roads in other states have different placements. Is there a standard as to placement? Or does Roady Bubba pick a spot? -- Curious in Conway.
Dear Conway: Depends on which hazard a particular road presents. More specific shortly.
First, some of our clan recently drove on U.S. 65 from Conway to Tyler Bend Rec Area on the Buffalo River. U.S. 65 is a five-lane beauty for a lot of the way, but narrows past Clinton. At some points on the twisting and turning road, there were rumble strips on both sides and the middle.
Seemed like a good idea.
David Nilles, who speaks often in this space for the Arkansas Department of Transportation, said rumble strips on the outside shoulder are designed to keep drivers from veering off the highway. When put in the middle, they're designed to prevent motorists from crossing the centerline and causing a head-on crash.
He also offered this nugget of knowledge:
The National Cooperative Highway Research Program has found that for head-on and opposite-direction sideswipe collisions, centerline rumble strips provide reductions in fatal and serious injury crashes of 45 percent on rural two-lane roads and 64 percent on urban two-lane roads.
Dear Mahatma: I'm hoping that the work on the Interstate 430/Arkansas 10 interchange will include the sound-blocking walls. Any word? -- Silence is Golden
Dear Silence: Word on the strasse is nada.
The scoop comes from David Nilles, who speaks for the state Transportation Department.
He said noise evaluations are done by ArDot on all projects that use federal funds, to determine if sound walls meet federal and state guidelines. This project does not meet those guidelines.
Nilles also said that if private noise barriers are built they must be located outside of ArDot's right-of-way.
Vanity plates seen in Maumelle: 2WINMOM and 2WINDAD.
Is this beautiful, or what?