I don’t think I’m alone when I say I enjoy shopping at the Adams Dairy Landing retail complex in Blue Springs.

I also don’t think I’m alone when I say that driving to it sometimes feels like 25 years ago, when as a young pup I stood in line at the amusement park, waiting to ride the bumper cars.

Remember the bumper cars? You get in your little vehicle, strap on a seat belt and proceed to navigate your car along a floor that looks more like wax paper than an actual road.

Two weeks ago I drove out to Station 3 of the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District. I drove along R.D. Mize Road toward Coronado Drive, the new buildings of the Landing on my right, gleaming in the partial morning sun. It was raining. Cars and trucks hissed by. I went through the light and down the slope to the interstate underpass – and suddenly it’s 25 years ago and Cliff, my good childhood friend, is in front of me in his bumper car, partly surprised at my encroachment and …

No, it wasn’t Cliff, and I wasn’t driving in a bumper car. It was a stranger (a woman with bobbed-up hair) and I was behind the wheel of my Dodge Intrepid. Yet the surface in front of me could almost pass as the surface of a bumper car rink.

In other words, where did the road go? How did I just shift over when I don’t remember deciding to shift over? And where was the striping? How was it that I was traveling in a straight line and, suddenly, I was steering to the left? No – wait, I wanted to go straight! Where was straight? Where was I? North Africa? The desert? Coney Island?

When I met up with CJC officials, I asked them about it and they agreed – yeah, it can be confusing there. Then they mentioned that accidents have increased significantly in that area.

In the last 12 months, CJC assisted on eight accidents, most of which were minor, according to Ed Saffell, assistant fire chief.

“It’s up a little for that area, but I’m sure that most of is due to increased traffic,” he said.

I called Blue Springs police and inquired about the number of accidents in that area. Captain Myers said that from January to March of this year, there have been 14 accidents at or near Adams Dairy Parkway and Coronado and/or the parkway and Interstate 70.

“This does not mean that these are striping-related, and (the figures) cover the entire area,” Police Chief Wayne McCoy said. “The numbers aren’t that unusual for a busy area such as this, especially including a lot of bad weather/slick roads in that time frame.”

McCoy contacted the Missouri State Highway Patrol and had them check into it as well, and they said lane markings were not indicated as causes in any of those 14 accident reports.

So... it’s just increased traffic and, from time to time, bad weather?

To this I would agree; after all, from what I understand, for years that area was nothing more than a field and a Burger King/gas station. All the new development takes some getting used to.

But still – the first time I drove my car in Manhattan on a weekday morning, I became neither confused nor frightened that I would suddenly end up on Cliff’s lap. The same goes for Olathe, Kan., where, emerging from a movie one evening, I navigated myself home through one of the largest retail areas I’ve ever experienced – without Cliff appearing in the story.

A quick email over to the city’s public works department got this response from Chris Sandie, assistant director.

“The area is split between the Missouri Department of Transportation and the city,” Sandie wrote. “We are working with a contractor to restripe the area with permanent markings. The lines were painted last fall due to the temperatures and making adjustments to the lane configurations.”

Sandie added:

“The lanes shift left and right, back and forth. We are trying to soften the shifts. As soon as we can work out the final details, the striping will be laid as weather permits.”

See, see – they are planning to “restripe” and “soften the shifts.” I knew I wasn’t imagining it.

So with more stores due to open and more rigid striping coming our way, I anticipate more of a roller coaster than bumper cars.

Or, with my luck, a little bit of both.

Open Sunday

One of my favorite places in the city is expanding its business hours to include Sundays.

Beginning May 1, Prospero’s Parkside Books, 208 B. Missouri 7 North, will be open Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This is good news, especially because I like the store a lot and suspect that other avid readers do also. The place has an estimated 20,000 used books, CDs and movies. It’s also host to the 1st Friday Art Party series, which features visual art, live music and theater and poetry readings.

Happy reading.