A reader is disappointed I didn’t take note of the article by Noel Oman in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette this morning about the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department’s plan to rechristen itself the Arkansas Department of Transportation.

The D-G headline writer made my point with a precise summary: “Arkansas roads agency eyes new name.”

A better name change would make it the Arkansas Highway Department, my preferred reference. Road and Bridge Department would be OK, too.

The other facets of transportation get little to no attention from the highway department. I don’t mean the obvious like planes and barges, generally viewed as the purview of other agencies (though a comprehensive transportation planning agency would consider them, too). But there’s also mass transit, rail, bicycles and, God help them, people on foot. You won’t find much time, attention or respect devoted to them at the highway department. They build highways, dammit. Wide ones when money allows. And wider still when suburban dwellers demand that a few seconds be shaved off their getting in and out of the Little Rock hellhole.


PS: A reader offers an alternate idea, apt given how much time, money and attention is given to rebuilding freeways pounded to rubble by cross-country trucks that don’t pay their share for damage:

Ark. Dept of Trucking (and cars)