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There’s a bit of a civil war breaking out in eastern Shelby County, and the first shot wasn’t even heard.
This is about Waddy and Peytona – or is it Peytona and Waddy? – neighbors along Highway 395, which crosses Interstate 64 about 10 miles west of Lawrenceburg.
You may not have noticed, but if you travel eastbound on I-64, new signs placed there by the state now list the exit for “Peytona/Waddy” rather than giving Waddy the top billing it has had since the exit opened in the late 1950s.
Does this matter to anyone? Apparently.
Andrea Clifford, public information officer for the Transportation Cabinet’s District 5, said during the past two weeks, she has been “peppered” with media questions about why the sign was changed.
“I don’t understand it, especially since the sign was put up last summer,” she said. “I got another e-mail about it last night, and I thought, ‘OK is this that big a deal?’”
Brian Raizor, fire chief of the East 60 Fire Department, located in Peytona, said he was contacted by Shelby County Magistrate Tony Carriss asking him his opinion on the matter.
“I told him I don’t think it’s a big deal,” he said. “I never pay any attention to it anyway; I know where I’m going.”
The matter has generated some Facebook attention, where people have commented about Waddy being “subordinated.”
Clifford said it’s not the cabinet’s intention to be disrespectful to Waddy’s larger population, which is estimated at around 4,000, though 2010 census figures are not yet in for Kentucky.
“The standards for highway signs have changed,” she said, adding the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices dictates that exit signs should display from top to bottom, the closest destinations to the left and to the right, in that order.
“The sign on eastbound I-64 is Peytona Waddy because Peytona is to the left and Waddy is to the right when one has reached the top of the exit ramp,” she said. “Vice versa for westbound I-64. It has nothing to do with population or proximity to the intestate.”
Clifford said the new signs were installed at Exit 43, because of the interstate widening project there.
“Due to the fact that many of the signs were in very poor physical condition, it was decided to add replacing them into the contract,” she said, adding the cost of the signs was $73,000.
Raizor said his fire station is located in the heart of Peytona, but he has not heard much about the issue.
“I’ve heard people talking about it, but I haven’t heard anybody say they’re upset about the signs being good, bad or ugly,” he said with a laugh.
“I guess maybe some of the Waddy people could be more upset than the Peytona people, because, after all, we have been moved up a bit.”
Waddy Fire Chief Darrell Brown said it doesn’t matter to him what the sign says.
“I understand why they did it, and it doesn’t make a bit of difference to me,” he said. “But if you could hear the old timers down at the store in the mornings, well, they’re just upset because they don’t like changes, I guess.”
Angela Gains, an employee at Love’s Travel Shop in Waddy, said it shouldn’t make a difference anyway because the sign on the other side of the interstate gives Waddy first billing.
“Me, I live in Waddy, and I don’t think anybody around here cares,” she said. “I sure don’t.”