Here is a sad update. In June, an Arlington reader complained about the difficulty of finding business addresses in the metropolitan area. The search, wrote A. Maxwell, causes "the milling around of drivers who don't know where they are or how to get there; the hazards of stop-and-go {driving} trying to read signs and find numbers, and the frantic lane switching of those who discover too late that they need to turn or park at the curb. Many buildings cannot be identified when standing in front of them. Building numbers should be large enough, clear enough, and in standardized locations. The regulations governing them should be responsive to drivers and not to the whims of owners."

This seemed a reasonable enough concern. Who hasn't struggled with this problem at one time? A check with area jurisdictions showed that numbers can be posted in many places, and can be so small as to be almost invisible from the road. A number of readers echoed the complaint. Wrote Louise Driver of Falls Church, "There must be an agency out there to help us poor, bewildered, lost, frustrated, even angry impeders of pace. HELP!"

Help seemed on the way when the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments agreed to call a meeting of local officials in September. "It's really a local matter, and it's difficult to predict what will happen," COG spokeswoman Sherry Conway said in June, "but we want to bring people together and talk about it."

Well, there isn't going to be any meeting. It's off. Seems no one was interested. "We contacted the area fire and emergency people and they didn't feel it was a problem," Conway said last week. "The people we contacted within local governments were not concerned and they need to ask for a meeting. If they want to pursue it, they should come back to us."

So there you have it. Public officials are not concerned enough to do anything. The remaining question is: How many drivers care? If anyone feels this is worth pursuing, attach a note to this column and we'll forward it to your top elected local official. Or write them directly. Perhaps something yet can be done. Sooner or Later, the Bus Stops Here Dear Dr. Gridlock:

Bus drivers arrive late or early at bus stops {regardless of} timetables. Often, nothing is done to investigate complaints. It is very obvious by Metro's actions, or rather, lack of actions, that the management, supervisors and some bus drivers have no interest in providing excellent service to the public. ROGER W. PEAK Falls Church

Well, Metro claims otherwise. Metro representatives say they are concerned about providing quality service to the public and that there are procedures to make corrections. Whether this concern, and these procedures, are sufficient is left to the public to judge.

For this particular problem, here is what Metro spokeswoman Marilyn Dicus says:

1. Late buses. Bus drivers are subject to the same traffic headaches as other motorists. "We don't penalize them for getting stuck in traffic," she said. However, "if bus drivers arrive late chronically, we look to see if there are conditions that they can overcome; we do our best to find out what is wrong and are constantly rebuilding schedules to reflect actual conditions." When a schedule is changed, a new timetable is published and made available to the public, she said.

2. Early buses. This "is a very serious offense," Dicus said. Drivers receive written reprimands in their file from the first offense, she said. Those habitually early are "reinstructed as well as observed by a street supervisor."

Metro depends upon the public for information on early and late buses, Dicus said. If you have a complaint, take note of the time, date, route number and, most importantly, the four-digit bus number. That number can be found outside the bus by the door, on the bulkhead by the driver, and at the back of the bus. To offer complaints, commendations, suggestions or to make inquiries, call Metro's marketing office at 637-1328 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., or write to Metro's Office of Marketing, 600 Fifth St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001.

Feel free to let the doctor know how big a problem this is, and what Metro seems to be doing about it. (NOTE: When Dr. Gridlock tried to call, the doctor was cut off after holding for seven minutes. On the next call, there was 13 minutes of recorded Muzak until someone came to the phone. Let us know how you are treated.) The Word on Back-In Parking Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I read the letter that was written by Richard Weaver of Potomac {June 5}, and to my surprise and joy there was someone else who has had the same problem on that section of parking on K Street between Wisconsin Avenue and 34th Street NW {that has diagonal rear-end parking}. In order to back in and pull out, you have to do several things which stop traffic and, in some cases, can cause an accident. If you are coming the opposite way, you have to turn around if you see a space, then you have to back the car into the space. If you are on the same side, you have to drive past the space, then you have to back into the space. If there is traffic behind you, it is almost impossible to do.

I have worked in Georgetown at night for the past six years and I am very well aware of the problem with parking that occurs in Georgetown on the weekends. What is really frustrating about those parking spaces is that if you park your car front end in, not only do you get a $20 ticket, but on Friday and Saturday nights they will tow your car. It seems to me that the {D.C. Department of Public Works} is only concerned with making a buck and is not really concerned with how {many} traffic problems they cause by making the parking that way or the fact that the signs are placed at such a height that only Manute Bol can see them at eye level. BARRY PATRICK JONES Alexandria

Since Dr. Gridlock last explored this question, the D.C. Department of Public Works has examined the parking signs and determined that they are "properly positioned," said spokeswoman Tara Hamilton.

But to help explain the procedure, six additional blue-and-white signs indicating the two-hour, back-in parking arrangement have been posted in that location.

Hamilton explained in her previous answer that the reason for the arrangement is that "we can put more vehicles on a street with angle parking." She also said the back-in parking is needed because it is safer to pull out front first.

Does anybody have a better way to handle this one?

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. Please include your full name, address and day and evening phone numbers.