Here’s my weekly column from the paper:
HOW TO REQUEST A “NTOR” SIGN
Alert reader Joan called up Roadguy with a blunt opinion to share:
There are certain areas in the city of Minneapolis that still have “no turn on red signs” that make absolutely no sense.
She wanted to know how to get her least favorite sign, at an intersection near the Interstate 35W construction zone, taken down. Matt Laible, city spokesman, said she should dial 311 or 612-673-3000 (outside of Minneapolis) to request that a “no turn on red” sign be removed — or added.
Added? Would someone ever clamor for such a thing?
Laible said that while 77 “no turn on red” signs have been removed since 2005, there are indeed reasons for installing new ones. On Nicollet Avenue at 59th Street, for example, one was added because of the presence of school patrols, while at Park Avenue and 28th Street, a sign was installed because of a high population of elderly residents trying to cross the street — something that’s easier to do if drivers aren’t cutting across while you’ve got the “walk” signal.
The trend, though, is toward fewer signs, meaning a bit of time and gas saved for drivers.
When Roadguy took the above photo the week before last, the word that came to his mind was “brazen.” Not only was the truck ignoring the “no trucks” sign, it also was driving on a section of West River Parkway that’s made up of wood planks.
I phoned our friends at the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, which sets the rules for the parkways, and learned that the truck might not have been breaking the rules.
Annie Olson, who’s in charge of such things for the board, said that there’s an apartment building that can only be reached via that stretch of parkway, so moving vans or trucks making deliveries are allowed to drive on it for that short distance without any permits or fees.
Other trucks wishing to use a parkway need to get a $50 permit; trucks heavier than 13 tons aren’t allowed at all. The plank road doesn’t have any special limits.
The truck driver in the picture couldn’t get a permit to cover another sin, however: drifting across the center line.