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Archive for September, 2008

No, this is not a picture of the digital traffic boards recently erected in Little Rock. But they might as well be in Chinese.
It has been a while since I’ve posted, mainly because work has been a little busy, school has revved back up, the new fall fashions are out and football season is in full swing! This brings me to the latest Tiger Lily.
A few months ago, the metropolis of Little Rock erected 3 new digital traffic boards on our Interstate 630 thoroughfare, which is a whopping 7 miles long. I take 630 every morning and evening to and from work. Well, the Traffic Engineers of our great city decided that it would be a good use of tax payer dollars to put up these 3 digital boards– and I still haven’t quite figured out their real purpose.
At first, I thought, “Oh, these boards will let us know of traffic accidents so that we can choose an alternate route.” However, they have never reported any accidents on the board, that I have seen, and even if they did that would be absurd. This strip of highway is only 7 miles long, by the time you reach one of those boards that might tell you there has been an accident, you are already stuck and will probably be past the accident before you find an exit to get off the highway. Ok, so they are not there to report traffic accidents.

Next, I noticed one morning that the boards were flashing, “Ozone Action Day.” What a great idea Little Rock Traffic Engineers! Alert the public to the fact that it is an “Ozone Action Day” to encourage the citizens of Little Rock to carpool, take the bus or ride their bikes. Brilliant, only it’s too late. We are already driving to work.

Then I thought, “Ah ha, they will use those digital boards for Arkansas football!” Now for those of you that are not Arkansans, although the Razorbacks call Fayetteville home, they play two games a year in Little Rock. This always jams up the traffic on 630, and although this is something that only happens on 2 of 365 days of the entire year, maybe the Engineers thought that this would be money well spent for Razorback fans. (We are a bit fanatical about those Hogs.) But, alas, the digital boards were not used to direct non-football traffic away from the stadium exit, instead, portable digital boards were brought in while the above mentioned, 3 permanent digital boards were benched. They were turned off that Saturday.

I don’t know why this surprises me. I have lived in Little Rock for most of my life and have seen the brilliance of these Little Rock Traffic Engineers. Take the speed humps that they erected in every neighborhood in town to slow down traffic. Yes, I said “humps.” This is what the city calls them on their Web site. They are humps because they are much wider than a traditional speed bump. Ironically, I can remember ramping these in high school because they don’t exactly do much damage if you take them at high speed.

Then, the Engineers put in a number of “roundabouts” in Pleasant Valley Neighborhood. (After the speed humps did not have their desired effects.) These Little Rock “roundabouts” aren’t exactly of London quality. This is because the Engineers did not increase the size of the intersections to create the “roundabouts,” but instead placed a big concrete slab right in the middle with a sign that indicated that you had to drive around this concrete slab. You are a skilled driver if you can avoid hitting the curb while navigating these speed-deterrents.


No, I haven’t gone “Ron-Paul” but sometimes I wonder why our city government is allowed to make these crazy decisions. Every time I get my paycheck and watch my precious money go to this great state, I start to wonder what it would be like if they had a lot less of our tax dollars to spend? Maybe a land without speed humps, roundabouts and useless, tiger-lilied digital traffic boards.

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