A Cowboy’s Faith: Purpose for detour signs – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Purpose for detour signs

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Detours are a common aggravation for highway drivers, seemingly more commonplace today than ever.”

As much as drivers dread seeing a detour sign and attempting to follow confusing directions, no detour sign is worse. That became apparent when major highways were barricaded off to and from the ranch headquarters.

Signs indicated “No Through Traffic,” but there were no detour signs. Drivers were given no directions on how to get from the main highway to other locations. Hundreds of vehicles, including semi tractors pulling heavily loaded livestock and grain trailers drove right around the barricades.

They were sorry for doing so when realizing through traffic on paved highways was impossible. Cars and pickups were able to make U-turns and head back to figure out some way to find their destination.

For the 18-wheelers, getting turned around became a major ordeal. Several truckers jackknifed their big rigs and spent considerable time and effort getting turned around. There was damage to certain trucks which remained stranded for extended time with their hoods up.

When headed back in the direction they came, drivers still didn’t know how to get where they wanted to go. While there were gravel rural roads, no signs pointed out which ones to take to get to any certain locale.

In urban areas, there are always detour signs which are often perplexing, but better than no driver guidance whatsoever.

“Why aren’t there detour signs posted several times along the highway before the no through traffic barricades which people ignore?” That question was asked dozens if not hundreds of times before any answer was provided.

“There can be no detours onto country graveled roads, only on paved highways.” That sounded like a probable Department of Transportation ruling. But it was no help to drivers who couldn’t figure out how to get where they wanted to go.

There are still no advance signs advising drivers that the main paved highways ahead are completely impassible. However, enough lost vehicles must have spread warning to others as there haven’t been as many forced driver turnarounds.

How they figure out which graveled road to take for their destination is complex, seemingly.

While road construction continues, promises are it’ll be “better than before” when completed.

Reminded of Proverbs 4:15: “Avoid it, do not travel on it. Turn away from it and go back.”


Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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