More from the mailbag:
Alert reader Steve wrote in from Bloomington to make sure that I had heard about today’s Road Pricing Summit in downtown St. Paul. Indeed I had — it’s from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the Met Councils offices, and numerous high-powered types will be talking about tolls, a mileage tax and/or other user fees that could help pay for transportation projects. I’d been planning to go, but a last-minute scheduling change means that my services are required at Roadguy headquarters for my entire workday. If you happen to attend, however, please tell us all about it. (Well, actually, no, not all about it — just the interesting parts.)
Next up — a question from Mike from Chaska:
I drove tractor-trailer for 6 years while attending college…. I remember reading that the interstate system had a “regulation,” if you will, that required states to place the exit number sign on the exit sign… [on the side] in which the exit actually was….For example, if you’re driving on an interstate highway and the next exit, let’s say Exit 69, was a LEFT exit, meaning you would need to get into the left lane to exit the interstate, the exit number sign would sit on the LEFT top corner of the exit sign. If the exit was to the right, the exit number sign would sit to the top RIGHT corner of the exit sign. My experience has been that this is pretty consistent in most every state I’ve traveled, but not here in Minnesota. Any thoughts as to why?
My first thought is that Minnesotans like to be special — we call that little strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street a “boulevard” even though
no one else hardly anyone else does, we make it perfectly legal for slow drivers to stay in the left lane, etc. So maybe this is another unfortunate attempt at being distinctive, like an eyebrow piercing on someone who just shouldn’t have one.
I did some informal research, meaning I dug through some photos and drove around a bit, and guess what? Minnesota is indeed inconsistent on this matter. Sometimes we center the exit number…
… and sometimes we put it off to the side:
One similarity between these two signs: They both sit above exit-only lanes, and neither one warns the people below that their lane is about to veer off. That’s OK — drivers just love surprises.
We now close with a short note from Roadguy’s fellow blogger Amy, whose e-mail got my attention by using the subject line “The power of Roadguy”:
Hmmm… Roadguy blogs about the lack of a speed limit sign on Dell Road in Eden Prairie… and voila! A speed limit sign magically appears.
My, you do make Roadguy blush. I’m not in a position to claim credit — that sign may have been scheduled to appear all along — but I do know that my recent Eden Prairie post did get mentioned in the blog of E.P.’s city manager. That means that at least one public official is aware of my existence, putting me a hair closer to my goal of global transportation domination.
It’s gonna take a while, though, so keep those comments and e-mails coming.