Why does U.S. Highway 550 north of Durango have a 45 mph speed limit before and after the Trimble Lane traffic light? Drivers have to slow down anyway if the traffic light turns amber, so it doesn't make sense to have this speed reduction. - Anonymous
Regrettably, there's a major flaw in your question. In Durango, drivers never slow down when the traffic light turns amber.
Quite the opposite. A yellow light means "gun it."
Granted, Action Line is getting old and crotchety, but red-light running in Durango has become as common as dog hair on fleece.
This town has more traffic scofflaws than it has Subaru wagons with Obama stickers on the bumper and Bread stickers on the back window.
In fact, the number of red-light runners just might exceed the number of local nonprofit groups - a staggering sum by anyone's count.
But that's not why the speed limit drops to 45 at Trimble.
It has to do with the "Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices," the standard by which the Colorado Department of Transportation and every other DOT nationwide uses for signs, signals and pavement markings.
When approaching a stoplight, there needs to be sufficient time for drivers to see the changing light, react and stop safely.
"People driving faster than 45 would have a hard time seeing a yellow light and immediately start slowing down from a quarter-mile away," said Nancy Shanks, CDOT spokeswoman.
"If we had higher speed limits, we would have to retime the signal," she added.
That would mean a longer yellow light - which isn't good because it encourages even more red-light running. Think of how many idiots blow through the Wal-Mart light and get T-boned.
Meanwhile, people waiting at Trimble Lane would start ignoring the light because it would take too long to change from yellow to green. Folks departing from a calming hot-springs soak might find themselves suddenly irritable and losing patience with an agonizingly long light.
Regardless of the speed limit, we all need to slow down and smell the roses. And since roses aren't blooming yet, let's slow down and smell the train smoke.
But who can smell anything these days with all the dust storms. If another thick layer of dirt settles over town, the U.S. Geological Survey is going to have to add an inch or two to Durango's elevation.
The drive-through lane at the downtown post office has got to be the worst. The holes are huge. I'm ready to take a couple pails of cement and fix it myself. Is this a job for the city or the post office, and when will it get fixed? I know I'm not the only one who is tired of this. - Andrea Katres
The potholes are spectacular, but they can't match last year's chasms, which actually ate a car, according to Rick Dittenhauser, Durango postmaster.
After the brutal winter of 2007-08, the post office contacted the city about the deteriorating road, but nothing happened until a vehicle was damaged while trying to drop off some mail. Seriously.
"We pulled out a plat map and showed the city that it was their property. Then someone came out and filled the hole," Dittenhauser said.
The post office tried to warn patrons about the potholes this year, "but people kept stealing the orange cones," Dittenhauser lamented.
Action Line contacted the city, and Jack Rogers, director of public works, promised a crew would come out and fill the cavity, which they did Friday afternoon - just in time for the parade of tax return dropper-offers.
E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you come to Action Line's garden and book presentation on "treacherous tulips" at
7 p.m. Tuesday at the new public library.