Dear Dr. Gridlock:

Years ago, in a defensive driving course, the instructor showed the class a wonderful Walt Disney cartoon. My recollection is that this cartoon starred Goofy and that the plot was about how the typical law-abiding citizen turns into a monster the minute he steps off the sidewalk and gets behind the wheel. I think the cartoon dated to the 1950s. Do you know the title? Are copies of it for sale anywhere?

It would be the perfect thing to have the next time some baby boomer tells me that aggressive driving is a new phenomenon.

Chris Webster


That's a good one. Goofy plays a mild-mannered family man, Mr. Walker, who becomes a poster child for road rage when he gets behind the wheel.

"That's a favorite of driver's ed classes," says Dave Smith, the archivist for the Walt Disney Co. It's called "Motor Mania" and was first released June 30, 1950. The cartoon is included in a just-released DVD collection, "The Complete Goofy."

Name That Bridge

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I have a suggestion that would save local taxpayers millions of dollars in transportation construction costs: Sell the naming rights of our bridges and highways!

This idea may be shocking to older citizens with a sense of history, but I doubt that many people would be concerned. Our stadiums and arenas are no longer memorials to veterans or famous individuals but are named for dot-com corporations that come and go.

These sporting venues are mentioned relatively infrequently by the media, while bridges and highways are heard on the radio every 10 minutes during traffic reports.

Automotive and oil companies will be lining up to submit bids for naming rights.

James R. Dimon

Mount Vernon

How about the Dr Pepper Dulles Toll Road? Or I-270, brought to you by Tostitos?

I'll give you an A for creative thinking in these times of budget crises, Mr. Dimon, but I'm not ready for such commercialization of our public facilities. What do you folks think?

Report That Pothole

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

We're asking Arlington County residents and those passing through to help us spot potholes in need of repair. They can reach us at

Diana Sun

director of communications

Arlington County government

It's good to know of a government with such an aggressive approach to pothole repair. We need that. This could be the worst pothole season in memory.

Another View

A motorist in our area noted in this column that an SUV driver had kindly turned his lights off while waiting behind the motorist at a stoplight.

Another motorist wrote that in Japan, this is a routine courtesy.

Dr. Gridlock noted the rare polite behavior. Now comes the following letter:

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

Nice going. By publishing this idiotic idea, you will probably contribute to several serious rear-end accidents.

Turning off one's headlights at a traffic light while stopped also turns off the taillights of the vehicle, thus making it difficult or impossible for approaching cars to see your car.

People with ideas such as this are the same ones who would shut off their engines while coasting downhill, killing the power steering and possibly locking up the steering column.

Tom Donohoe


Let's hear from the audience before squashing this act of kindness.

Metro's Shortcomings

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I find it amazing that Metro is considering increasing fares when its service continues to decrease. Not a week goes by when there is not some delay on one -- or all -- of the branches, which creates tremendous backups and unexplained delays.

Perhaps if we refused to pay for our ride when there are substantial delays, Metro might consider its patrons more than a captured group. My car looks more favorable by the day.

Howard Metzger


You can write to Dr. Gridlock at 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. He prefers to receive e-mail, at, or faxes, at 703-352-3908. Please include your full name, town, county and day and evening phone numbers.