While making airline reservations recently, I typed in Durango. The website gave me two airport codes, DGO for Durango, Mexico, and DRO for Durango, Colo. I was surprised, because around here its DGO this and DGO that. Have we secretly become part of Mexico, or is the populous misinformed? Wondering in DRO
Three-letter airport abbreviations are assigned by the International Air Transport Association, usually to reflect the city nearby.
For example, SLC is Salt Lake City and LAX is Los Angeles. For an unknown reason decades ago, our Mexican sister city was designated DGO.
Im not sure why that is, laughed Don Brockus, deputy director of Durango-La Plata County Airport. My guess is the Mexico Durango airport was established first.
DRO and DGO are often mixed up. Not a year goes by when someone gets off the plane expecting to be in Mexico, Brockus said.
A while back, we had a couple show up totally confused. They were Mexican nationals working in Chicago, and a travel agent made their Durango reservations. So even travel pros can get confused, he recalled.
So, should we change the airport code to better identify our slice of paradise?
DOG might be good. Everyone loves dogs around here. But, alas, DOG is assigned to Dongala, Sudan.
To show our good humor, Durango could designate itself as DUM, DUD or DIP.
Nope and not because of objections from the Durango Area Tourism Office.
DUD is the Pinang Kampai Airport of Indonesia. Flying to DUD takes you to Dunedin International Airport in New Zealand.
Meanwhile, DIP is the unfortunate initials of the Diapaga Airport of Burkina Faso in Africa.
Lets stick with the current abbreviation. DRO is A-OK!
Oops. Cant do that. AOK is Karpathos, Greece.
Is it just me, or is the Town Plaza parking lot Durangos most dangerous place to drive? I dont get all the stop signs surrounded by concrete? Is this necessary? J.T.
Welcome to Durango (or DRO), where the per capita number of traffic-control devices is greatest in a place built for stationary cars.
Anyway, the folly or wisdom of Town Plazas reconfiguration remains in the eyes of the beholder.
On one side is Gabe Fidanque, owner of Wagon Wheel Liquor. You know Gabe. He gained international fame as the guy who takes shoes from shoplifting neer-do-wells. But thats another story.
When the Town Plaza parking lot underwent its extreme makeover a couple months ago, Gabe was stunned.
Its ridiculous. We had four accidents the first day, he recalled.
It got so bad the cops came down, but the one cop ran a new stop sign and almost got hit, he said with a chuckle.
Just why the police were summoned remains a mystery. As Gabe pointed out, the local constabulary cannot enforce traffic rules in Town Plaza because it is private property.
On the other side of the issue is Alvarado Management, the New Mexico-based company that owns the strip mall.
The changes were made in response to many complaints of high-speed traffic, Cindy Kemper, Alvarados vice president of property management, said from her Albuquerque office. Our contractors filling potholes were almost hit.
In addition, we also revamped the area to provide additional parking spaces, she added.
Cindy said the befuddlement has resolved itself over the last couple of months.
People are actually stopping instead of flying through the parking lot, so it seems to be working out OK, she said.
At least the odd intersection at Rite Aid Boulevard works better than its southern counterpart at Walmart.
That malfunction junction has had stop signs from the get-go, and still, after all these years, drivers continue to have a difficult time understanding how to take turns.
No wonder why an Action Line reader recently dubbed it the Four-Way Stop of Anarchy.
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if you can predict when Town Plaza will decide to get some sort of landscaping other than that one sorry tree near City Market.