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Comedian Jay Leno must not read The News-Enterprise. Nor, apparently, does David Letterman.
Because if they, or their staffs, ran across the July 14-15 headline, “Duct tape to rescue,” surely they would have tried to get some yuks out of the story.
The headline pointed out the dangerously crowded, narrow roadway along Dixie Avenue (U.S. 31W) between North Miles Street and St. Johns Road, and asked, “What can be done?”
The answer: After years of talking about making the notoriously hazardous stretch of this county’s major thoroughfare safer by widening it, the state highway department recently wrapped strips of yellow reflective tape around the utility poles that stand menacingly inches from the pavement daring motorists to make even the slightest misjudgment ... at 45 mph.
Many have, as the scarred, nearly flat street side of some of the poles bear silent witness to the multiple times they’ve been whacked by errant drivers’ side mirrors, fenders, doors or more.
Far be it from us to poke fun at the locally based state transportation division that wrapped the tape around the poles to improve visibility and to caution motorists. Bless ’em. At least they made a decision and tried to make the one-mile of skinny roadway a little safer. That’s more than can be said for anybody else.
The traffic-clogged few blocks of roadway is the most heavily traveled and has the most wrecks of all those in the 11-county Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s District 4. The state highway plan put together by the administration of Gov. Steve Beshear includes widening the treacherous stretch of the Dixie. Of course, there will be no money for it until 2010. Even then it would be just a beginning with moving utilities and business signs and settling disputes with property owners presenting complicated, time-consuming, expensive hurdles to clear.
So, even with 160 wrecks the past two years and 30 injuries, the best our state can do is put up reflective yellow tape that does nothing to compensate for the excessively narrow lanes and all the cars entering and leaving the main road. Fortunately, there have been no fatalities. Yet. Is that what it’s going to take to get the road widened?
Well, on second thought not even Jay Leno or David Letterman could make that funny.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.