During some roadwork on Camino del Rio recently, traffic was diverted into one lane. I became fascinated watching an older couple in a pickup prevent another vehicle from merging into the through-lane. The older woman in the truck was motioning that the driver she was blocking should have merged a long time before. This is not the first time that I have observed this behavior. Is there a Durango protocol that I am unaware of? Please enlighten me. I would hate to commit a local faux pas. Loren Rowton
Action Line has witnessed this behavior as well, usually from the congested through-lane several blocks from the merger point.
Weve all been there, waiting and wishing people would get moving. Then somebody zooms past in the other lane, prompting us to hurl blistering curses.
Oh, that jerk! How dare they think they could go right up to the merge point and expect someone to let them in! Ive been waiting here for at least 45 seconds!
Longtime Durangoans respond to merging in one of two ways, both of which are designed to punish the person who pooh-poohs pre-merging.
Most folks turn up the tunes, drive along with a smug smirk, mere inches from the car ahead of us, clearly demonstrating that we will not yield.
Inevitably, the other guy will get testy and become bolder, using the front bumper as a shoehorn.
Its a slow-moving game of chicken, where Durangoans passive aggressiveness meets newcomer entitlement.
The other response is what you witnessed.
Someone is fed up with cars going past them in the soon-to-be closed lane. So they steer their vehicle over so it straddles both lanes, forming a vigilante roadblock.
Both responses are less than ideal, according to traffic enforcement authorities.
The best thing is for drivers to proceed in both lanes toward the merge point, they alternate merging. Thats the most efficient, said Lt. Ray Shupe with the Durango Police Department.
When drivers merge blocks ahead of the merger point, it creates needless congestion. Because traffic is all in one lane moving slowly, intersections can become blocked, further compounding problems.
So lets use all lanes, take turns and purge the urge to pre-merge.
I enjoy the Durango Farmers Market, but are the scales correct? Does the farmer certify them? Am I getting the true weight of the product? Sign me, Mr. Green Bean
In these days of listeria hysteria, its good that you know where your food is coming from. But are you getting your moneys worth? Good question.
Market organizers have rules that sellers must follow, and everyone must have city and state business licenses. But its not up to us to check the scales of vendors, said Steve Van Buskirk with the farmers market.
That duty falls to the state specifically, the Colorado Department of Agricultures Weight and Measurements Office.
Anyone who sells products based on weight needs to have a licensed scale, the states measurement standards program manager, Nick Brechun, explained from his Denver office.
Vendors must use scales designed for commerce. State inspectors test for accuracy. If a scale is accurate, it gets an official sticker. The scale certification is $35 annually, he said.
So check with your farmer and look for the sticker on the scale. If its not there, you might be getting less. On the other hand, you might be getting more.
But lets not get picky over an ounce of lettuce or squash. If you think youre being fleeced, just ask for a free sample before to purchasing. Thatll tip the scales in your favor, so to speak.
But consider this: If you dont trust the scale of the person growing your food, you shouldnt be eating that persons food in the first place.
Email questions to email@example.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if youve ever tried to use the bathroom scales to weigh a package for UPS or FedEx, despite being told not to.