As one of the sportswriters here at The Messenger, my job involves a decent bit of travel, not just to local places like Mortons Gap and Dawson Springs, but exotic locales like Morganfield (home of Steve Young’s Animal Clinic, not affiliated with the 49ers quarterback) and Paducah (namechecked in “Hooray for Hollywood” – “They come from Chillicothes and Paducahs with their bazookas/ To get their names up in lights”). Thousands of miles later, here are my thoughts:
1) Does the unmanned police car on Seminary Street between West Noel and West Center fool anyone anymore?
2) On the subject of Seminary and Center, why does Center get priority when it comes to green lights? Seminary is at least one of the streets people use to bypass Main Street; Center ends about four miles out of town.
3) Why do the speed limits slow down to 45 mph when you pass through unincorporated villages (like Charleston on KY-109)? Unincorporated villages don’t have their own cops, so it doesn’t work as an ongoing speed trap, and I never see area ones around there anyway, so they should just make it 55 mph or better all the way.
4) KY-85 is a goofy road. Straigthtaways, then sharp curves. It gets ridiculous about four mile east of Sacramento, where the road curves so sharply that it’s virtually a right turn, then curves sharply to the left twice in the next 2000 feet, and curves sharply right and left a mile later in Buttonsberry. Not a good place to run off the road, either: there’s no shoulder or level grass there, just a quick downward slope into the cornfields. It’s basically the McLean County equivalent of the road in Madisonville that snakes its way around the mall.
5) More curve talk: pretty much every curve on every road is marked, but there is a point heading westbound on U.S. 41. Alternate, between Providence and Nebo, where the road veers suddenly to the left without warning. That one almost got me a couple times.
6) A good idea that has been implemented a little bit, but not nearly enough: having the parkway shield signs (specifically the ones near interchanges that tell you what direction to turn to get on a parkway) abbreviate the parkway name in big acronyms (like WK) instead of spelling out “Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway” in tiny letters. The problem otherwise is that if you’re near more than one parkway, you have to slow down suddenly and actually read the sign, since you can’t tell at a glance which grouping of tiny letters goes with which parkway.
7) For those of you who know your Big East team nicknames: there’s a fun sign on KY-293, northbound heading out of Princeton, that identifies the distance to two towns: Providence and Fryer.
8) Not sure what kind of logic Mapquest is using to label the parkways: the Western Kentucky Parkway portion of the future Interstate 69 is identified only as I-69, but the Pennyrile Parkway is identified as identified as the Pennyrile and U.S. 41, even in the sections south of where the parkway merges with U.S. 41. This aspect of the I-69 thing is confusing: is a road I-69 just because some signs have been put up marking it as such, even though it hasn’t been renovated to conform to official Interstate standards? Why don’t we in Hopkins County put ours up, then?