What’s with the new directional signs at the Florida Road roundabout? Has there been a flurry of wrong-way head-on crashes lately? Did the city’s sign crew need something to do one afternoon? Is the city trying to justify its new budget? Sign me, “Don’t Sign Me At All”
There’s something about the roundabout that makes motorists not pay attention.
Come to think of it, that applies to Durango in general.
When it comes to paying attention, Durangoans skip out on the bill.
Yet, the town was ranked recently as having the second-best drivers in Colorado.
This shocking tidbit came from Quote Wizard, an online insurance company.
Quote Wizard publishes its annual bad-driver rankings based on rate comparisons, accident reports, speeding tickets, DUIs, moving citations and other hard data.
In other words, it’s Fake News.
There is simply no way that Durango has the second-best drivers on anyone’s list anywhere, despite things like “statistics” or “evidence.”
It reminds Action Line of a quote:
“Don’t confuse me with facts.”
Earl Landgrebe was the person who said that.
Remember Earl? Probably not.
He was an Indiana congressman and staunch supporter of Richard Nixon.
The congressman made his ignominious utterance in late 1974 during the last gasps of the crooked president’s Watergate scandal and cover-up, impeachment and subsequent resignation.
And yet, “don’t confuse me with facts” is probably the truest thing a partisan politician could say – then or now.
All of which has nothing to do with the roundabout and inept motorists.
In any case, Colorado ranks No. 26 on the roll call of bad drivers nationwide.
So Durango is second-best in a state that’s mediocre.
Woo-hoo! Start handing out participant ribbons.
States with the worst drivers are Maine, South Carolina, Nebraska, California and North Dakota.
The supposed best are in Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arizona and Illinois.
As with all “facts,” take it with a grain of salt.
Oh, but in uppity Durango, we prefer our salt to be pink Himalayan with a hint of smoked organic paprika.
Maybe pretentious seasonings improve driving skills.
Regardless, Action Line has an additional fact for your confusion.
There are no new signs on the Florida Road roundabout.
That shocking revelation comes from our good friend Mike Somsen, the city’s superintendent of streets.
The sideways chevron directional signs “have been there for four years now,” Mike said. “They are a standard requirement for all roundabouts.”
Back in 2010, when the roundabout was originally constructed, the directional signs were smaller, Mike said.
“But we replaced them, and like I said, that was four years ago. They are not new.”
The roundabout, once a confusing scourge for commuters, is now a convenient and familiar feature that keeps traffic moving.
Except when a deer herd decides to admire the bike-racer sculptures, as they did one night last week.
Mrs. Action Line was in the driver’s seat and not amused.
She still remembers that one time she stopped for jaywalking ungulates.
One of the wretched beasts turned tail and flung itself into her non-moving car, causing thousands in damage.
This latest wildlife encounter went wildly better.
The animals, with their deer-in-the-headlights look, slowly left the roundabout and hoofed it to the Animas River.
So, in a roundabout way, the roundabout keeps non-motorized traffic moving, too.
Maybe the city should erect new signs after all.
Let’s put up “Deer X-ing” and see if anyone pays attention.
Email questions to email@example.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you have a substitute for alternative facts.