Most times of the day since Talkers can remember, that stretch of Sam Furr Road has been a linear parking lot that oozed along at a slug's pace. Unimaginably, it was even worse at times during the widening project. Now, with its four lanes, limited access, median, dedicated turn lanes and leftovers, drivers can now approach — and apparently even surpass — the posted 45 miles per hour speed limit on Sam Furr just about any time of the day.
Just don't exceed it too much. The Huntersville police have figured out you can speed there now.
Several of us Talkers think of ourselves as golfers to some degree, so it came as more than a little embarrassing when it was pointed out to us by sharp-eyed Charles Jeter and a resident of Davidson that we used the wrong spelling for the word used to warn those within snap-hook and banana-slice range of impending doom.
Huntersville Commissioner Jeter first teed up an e-mail on Thursday followed up by a direct approach shot by the Davidsonian on Friday, both telling us that the word is "fore," as in forewarned, and not "four" as in the number Talkers regularly scratch onto the scorecard after each par 3 hole. It shames us to admit that, while we do know the difference, we simply shanked the spelling.
The bogey has been recorded, and we're moving on to the next hole.
Give us a sign
Signs and the ordinances that govern them have triggered some wordy reactions recently from local residents and rule-makers and Talkers can't help but notice that the conflict between users and regulators is basically, well, a sign of the times.
Businesses want signs to direct potential customers to their stores, shops and restaurants and think local government officials who, almost without exception, want local businesses to succeed should — wink-wink, nudge-nudge — look the other way if some eager-beaver entrepreneur (as long as it's not a competitor) widens the scope of what's allowed, sign-wise.
Problem is, if you give them a letter, they take a word; give them a word, they take a sentence; give them an inch, they take a foot; give them a foot, and the next thing you know you've got a 40-foot banner dangling from a flagpole beside a psychedelic school bus complete with sirens and a tethered blimp equipped with strobe lights announcing a special "only 45 days left" sale.
What would be ideal, of course, is common sense on both sides. Alas, even in upbeat economic times, Talkers realize simply expecting folks to do what's right and reasonable is no longer a practical approach. So we end up with size limitations, placement restrictions, lighting standards and other rules that require lengthy explanations and detailed drawings and nearly always trigger "but I just want to do this" whines from those seeking exemption and "but you let them do this" from those seeking to outshine their competition.
The solution? Fewer, smaller signs could make it hard to find anything. And unregulated signage could make it impossible to see through the maze. There must be an answer. Could someone, please, send us a sign.