Dear Know It All: We noticed at the Ozark rest stop on Interstate 40 that all of the handicap parking spaces were marked “Van Accessible.” We do not own a van, but do possess a permanent handicap car license tag. This forced us to find a regular parking space, not near the entrance to the building. — Steve

Steve: Our understanding is that anyone with a valid handicap license plate or hanging placard may park in a spot designed for a van — and do so without penalty — but that common courtesy indicates parking in a standard handicap spot if one is available, which apparently there is not. So park in a van-accessible spot, “accessible” not meaning “only.”

Dear Mahatma: Can you tell me the process by which art is selected for the city’s roundabouts? I’m not too sure about some of that stuff. — Art Lover

Dear Art: We know little about Little Rock’s choice of statuary for its traffic circles. We know only that the circle on Rebsamen Park Road leads to the golf course, where we have released many golf balls into the wild.

So we asked Lamor Williams, the city’s communications and marketing manager, about this. Williams once worked at this newspaper. We remember him fondly as a gentleman, unlike the rest of us miscreants, backsliders and reprobates.

Let’s first ease the pain of cynics, a club of which we are a founding member. Turns out funds for the sculptures are raised from private sources.

Also, the sculptures are placed on a case-by-case basis. In each instance, a body — City Beautiful Commission, Heights Neighborhood Association, and others — approached the city about a sculpture and proposed the designs or pieces.

The Public Works Department gets involved in design and construction of the roundabout. Enhancements such as landscaping or lighting are the responsibility of the sponsor. Parks & Recreation may be involved, too.

Public Works ensures that the proposed sculpture does not adversely affect sightlines or otherwise impede the flow of traffic.

As roundabouts become more popular for traffic flow, Williams said, more requests for sculptures or landscaping are expected. The city is now starting the process of formalizing steps for the authorization of sculptures and landscaping for roundabouts and other public ways.

Dear Mahatma: Arkansas digitized driver’s licenses. When? — Low Handicapper

Dear Low: You mock those golfers who have a handicap that reaches into the stratosphere. Ah, well, it’s our own fault.

Regarding digitized licenses, Scott Hardin of the Department of Finance and Administration says the agency is currently determining which vendor will be chosen to produce the software to make the license happen.

The agency is working to offer the license by early 2020. Remember, he reminds us, that the digital license will complement but not replace the actual license.

But won’t it be cool, we tell ourselves in moments of clarity, to have that license on our fancy-pants smartphone?

Metro on 11/16/2019

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