Dear Dr. Gridlock:

Oh, how I agree with you on the foot-high mandatory numbers on businesses. Just recently, I was looking for a frame shop on Lee Highway near Fairfax Circle. It was the most frustrating experience in trying to determine what hundred block I was in as I could not see even one address from the highway. Also, the whole metropolitan area is lacking so many street name signs. There are intersections all over that have no street names and many which are hidden. In fact, I've been so angry about this problem I'm ready to just leave this area. It's bad enough to cope with all the rude, inconsiderate, crazy, incompetent, dangerous drivers on the road. Add to that the problem with streets and addresses missing and that's enough to say, "Goodbye." BETTYE HEATHCOCK Falls Church Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I certainly agree with the suggestions made in your column regarding the need to make building numbers visible from the roadway. Making them uniform in size, location and color would help a lot, and should apply to private homes as well as commercial properties.

I have often wondered, when searching for a particular house number on a dark and unfamiliar street, how on earth an emergency medical team could find a victim of an accident or illness in time to be of any help.

I would think that the fire and rescue services throughout the metropolitan area would be only too ready to get behind this issue, through the Council of Governments, as you suggest. RENEE RENZI Gaithersburg Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I would like to lend my support to anyone interested in getting the jurisdictions in this area to establish a better method of displaying the street numbers on commercial and public buildings.

I can sympathize with the thousands of persons who are so frustrated in attempting to locate a given building, whether by car or on foot, when one has the correct address but can find no number on the front of the building.

Undoubtedly, this is a significant cause of traffic slowdowns and resulting driver irritation. I would be happy to join any committees interested in obtaining such a goal. ROBERT B. LINDEN Washington Calling on Bus Drivers in Traffic Dear Dr. Gridlock:

Can Metrobus drivers call police to solve traffic jams?

There was a long backup this morning on Georgia Avenue southbound, starting at Colesville Road. Apparently the lights one block west on Colesville were messing up traffic, and everyone was causing gridlock at Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road. The bus I was riding on took 20 minutes to travel one block. Most of the passengers gave up and got off to walk the rest of the way to the Silver Spring Metro.

After I got off I noticed a county police officer on a motorcycle sitting on the corner where the lights were out of sync. I told him about the gridlock situation, and he went up to the intersection involved and within seconds traffic was flowing smoothly on Georgia Avenue.

Doesn't the driver of a Metrobus have the ability to notify the police, at least indirectly, of a situation such as this? The jam up on Georgia Avenue must have been two or three miles, and still the police hadn't noticed or done anything about it on their own. Was it just a lack of initiative on the part of the several Metrobus drivers stuck in traffic or is it something that is not possible? STEVE MILLER Silver Spring

Metrobuses are equipped with radio communication with Metro's central office only. Drivers generally use this communication to get help for a disabled bus, for emergency medical attention, or to summon police to the bus. However, according to Metro spokeswoman Mary Bucklew, "We encourage bus drivers to call Metro central and report traffic jams. The bus drivers do so frequently and Metro central then notifies the proper authorities."

Let's hope this letter helps sensitize Metrobus drivers into contacting police about traffic jams and we'll continue to prod police to get off their motorcycles and out of their cruisers and deal with traffic jams around them. Such problems may not be as stimulating to police officers as solving a homicide, but resolving them means a great deal to an awful lot of people. Collective Officialdom and Cobblestones Dear Dr. Gridlock:

My problem stems from the life-threatening walk between the subway at Union Station and the bus. To get to the bus after leaving the station, one is forced to walk in the road because there is no connecting sidewalk to the bus stop. Doing this becomes especially dangerous if an Amtrak train has just arrived, causing a higher than usual volume of rush-hour traffic.

The scant existing walkways are difficult to use, having been constructed of rough-hewn granite cobblestones. Even traversing these stones in highly padded running shoes is painful; try doing it in high heels!

Here is the typical last leg of the Union Station commute: as you run for the bus stop that's been relocated at least a block and a half from the subway station exit, don't forget to look behind you for oncoming cars, taxis and buses (not the one you want, of course), while at the same time looking down to make sure you don't trip and fall flat on your face on the uneven cobblestones, but never mind running now because your bus has just left you behind in a cloud of dust, and a taxicab is honking and shouting obscenities at you, and a policeman is threatening to give you a ticket for jaywalking!

Oh Doctor, this is enough to make a happy Metro commuter want to learn to drive. But, before I undertake anything so radical, I'd like to offer some suggestions to the powers that be: The bus stops should be moved closer to the subway entrance, thereby eliminating the daily hike over rough terrain.

Benches should be installed for the long wait on a cold day for the bus.

Last, but not least, that those ugly, foot-cramping, spine-jarring, outdated cobblestones be removed, and something easier to walk on be laid down.

Thank you for letting me vent my frustrations, Doctor, I feel a little better. I'm sure I could be completely cured if only I could arrive home from a hard day's work without bruised feet, broken shoes and tire tread marks. JULI CARTER Washington

It's good that you feel better now, because you're not going to like the rest of this.

Keith Kelly, president of the Union Station Redevelopment Corp., said the $7 million renovation project now under way does not provide money for fixing the cobblestones. "We are painfully aware that people are against the cobblestones, and so are we," he said.

As to the location of the bus stops, there is no plan to move them closer to the station until the completion of construction -- about 16 months away. He said the benches or a bus shelter would be a good idea, but that would be up to Metro.

Metro spokeswoman Beverly Silverberg says that Metro has run out of federal grant money for bus shelters. Besides, Metro and the Architect of the Capitol's office, which has some jurisdiction here, can't agree on a design anyway. "They {the Architect's office} are very concerned about the esthetics," Silverberg said.

So there you have it. Collective officialdom seems unable to do anything about this inconvenience -- not even a bench.

Watch your step, Ms. Carter.

Dr. Gridlock appears in this section each Friday to explore what makes it difficult to get around on roads, from misleading signs to parking problems to chronic bottlenecks. We'll try to find out why bad situations exist and what is being done about them. You can suggest problems by writing to GRIDLOCK, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.