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Using the wrong lanes won’t make ART right

USE THE WRONG LANES TO RIGHT ART? That suggestion comes from dragonlady25252, who emails, “There is a very simple solution to the bus system on Central. I know that the buses in use have the doors on ‘the wrong side,’ so we have to get millions of dollars worth of new buses.

“So, have them drive in the direction that would have the doors on the correct side. There are dedicated lanes for them, so there should not be a traffic problem. People are used to oncoming traffic. Therefore, the problem is solved and ART can get going now! How come nobody has thought of this solution?”

Actually, I did hear from at least one person in the city administration who had the same idea. That person was told that in addition to the confusion that would ensue from putting eastbound traffic in westbound lanes (and vice versa), the signals are not set up to handle traffic traveling in the wrong direction, so the buses would have to weave in and out to line up with signals at intersections.

WHY ARE THEY SWIPING COPPER? Helen says in an email, “In reading about copper thieves causing so many street light outages, I wondered why copper is so valuable to thieves. Is it a limited resource?”

It’s limited in that it, like other metals, is mined. It’s a resource in that, according to a check of prices online Friday, you can get around $2 a pound for it, compared with 30 cents a pound for your aluminum cans.

WINTER DRIVING TIPS: While we may be in between storms, it’s never too early to plan for the next bought of winter weather. The New Mexico Department of Transportation has these suggestions for staying safe on winter roads:

• Be prepared. NMroads.com is updated with road conditions as they come in, and a call to 511 in state or 1-800-432-4269 will get you that information as well. And the non-emergency law enforcement hot line is 242-2677.

• Leave early and be patient.

• Have your vehicle ready. That includes a full tank of gas, full wiper fluid reservoir, understanding of how to activate your four-wheel drive and use your anti-lock brakes if you have them, and a winter survival kit with flashlight, hand-warmer packets, first-aid supplies, high-energy snacks, bottled water and medications.

• Reduce your speed. Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and others.

• Stay out of the snow cloud. Large vehicles can kick up snow that make visibility tough. Stay back and out of the blowing snow.

• Check before you pass.

• Skip cruise control in slippery conditions. It can reduce your control when tires slip or skid.

• Buckle up.

And NMDOT reminds us, “The recent storm event in New Mexico had some unforeseen delays and road closures. NMDOT personnel worked around the clock to ensure the safety of the traveling public. Crews were dispatched accordingly to treat areas affected by the winter storm and assisted in clearing roads with emergency personnel.

“Road closures and delays are sometimes unforeseen. With careful planning and coordination between NMDOT and law enforcement, we do our best to get traffic flowing and roads open as quickly as possible.”

Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the Metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858; dwestphal@abqjournal.com; or P.O. Drawer J, Albuquerque, N.M., 87103.

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