Letter to the Editor

May 3rd, 2012 | By admin | Category: Opinion

Recently, on my way to work, I saw something that happened not once, but twice within a five minute period that needs to be addressed by the highway department.

I was in the turn in lane on U.S. 64 West waiting to turn onto U.S. 67 South and noticed two pickup trucks waiting at the stop sign at the end of the off-ramp coming from U.S. 67 North.  One was a 4 door extended cab diesel pick up truck and the other was a regular pick up truck.  As I was waiting for traffic going east to pass so I can turn onto the freeway, the driver of the first pickup truck decided that he had waited long enough and pulled out onto the highway from the off-ramp.  Not only did this gentleman pull out on the highway, but this gentleman actually drove east in the westbound lane til he got around the traffic waiting in the turn in lane before he decided to pull into the eastbound lane.  As I continued to wait for traffic to pass so I could turn, the driver of the second pickup truck decided to do what the first driver did.  Thankfully, there wasn’t any traffic going west at that particular moment.

Now, my question is when will the highway department do the right thing and install a traffic signal in that area?  There has been past discussion as far as installing a traffic signal, but the reasoning given was that there was not enough traffic to warrant installing a signal.

I challenge our local representatives and senators in the General Assembly to implore the highway department to put safety and human lives over traffic counts and install a traffic signal!  Its bad enough that the Federal Highway Administration will not re-designate U.S. 67 as an Interstate highway, despite the fact that it is 102 miles in length from North Little Rock to northwest Craighead County, yet Interstate 530 is 46 miles long from Little Rock to Pine Bluff.  Re-designating U.S. 67 as either Interstate 30 or Interstate 57 is something that is not only overdue, but it will help the visibility of every community along U.S. 67.

It is apparent to this longtime resident and registered voter that our area of the state is not taken seriously and is overlooked when it comes to certain highway projects.  Once again, I implore our local officials in the General Assembly to do whatever it takes to get the highway department to do the right thing and install a traffic signal in that above mentioned area before there is a wreck involving serious injuries or worse!

Shane Smith, Beebe