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The brain trust down at the state highway office came up with a scheme to deter the theft of mile marker 420 sign along Interstate 70 in Colorado.

For you boozers and non-imbibers out there, "420" is a hot number for dopers. Mythology surrounds the number, but suffice it to say it means DOPE. So on April 20 (4/20), dopers often invade public spaces to alter their reality with their drug of choice.

As a result, signs with "420" on them -- like a mile-maker -- have become quite popular among dopers and roadsign collectors.

That's where the folks down at the state high office come in. Tired of losing their 420 mile marker sign, they slipped one up with "419.99" on it.

Well, they could have just waved a red flag in front of a bull.

Anyone worth their salt would take the time to mount a cunning operation to swipe the 419.99 mile marker sign for their sign collection.

I certainly would, although I have retired from that hobby and am just sticking with ham radio and the occasional model railroad.

But ever since my neighbors and I tried to get a 4-way stop sign installed at a nasty intersection in Denver's Park Hill decades ago -- to protect our children -- I have been suspect of highway and road "planners."

The new "419.99" sign should be promptly and efficiently stolen. This is highly recommended as it is probably worth more than a run of the mill "420" mile marker sign.

The correct solution, of course, is to eliminate mile markers 419.99 and 420 (52.8 feet away) altogether. I doubt the one-mile gap in mile marker signs will throw interstate commerce and travel into an unrecoverable nosedive.

Perhaps Vic Bengston needs to investigate this matter more thoroughly. Check him out at


When he is not keeping an eye on highway planners, Denver writer Richard J. Schneider pens the Vic Bengston Investigation series of mystery novels - all set in Colorado. His latest, WATER: A Vic Bengston Investigation is all over the place in elektrik and dead tree formats.