What a mess it is now on our highways and roads. They are doing construction on all of the freeways and many residential streets in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This, coupled with people locating here for jobs, makes it a real mess. I feel sorry for those newbies that don’t know their way around and don’t know the shortcuts. I see people just sitting in their cars on the freeway at 3 p.m., it’s like a giant parking lot. I would want those hours of my life back. I can see why people get irritated and rage out at one another because road construction brings life to a halt. The online mapping websites are not much help anymore, either. Heck, even one with decent directions will still have you do a u-turn in the middle of the freeway…and that’s a good one. GPS isn’t always helpful, either. Unless you have an i-phone and can download the latest information about lane closures and exit / entrance ramp closures, it’s sometimes useless. I teach a class where the students are told to be there on time or we won’t let them in. People show up late, all red in the face…some even in tears (mostly the women). I size them up and if they’re bigger than me, I let them in. I don’t want to get beat up by one of my own students.
The cool thing is, around here, they are widening the freeways. This is part of the efforts of our highway and road construction and they are lengthening the entrance and exit ramps in these areas. I had read something about 2-1/2 years ago that Texas is one of the only states in the nation that is doing this. The article said that Texas is taking some responsibility for how some of our highways and roads are “poorly designed.” Currently, the police are writing tickets for people entering and exiting the freeway too fast and for speeding on the access roads. The problem is, with the short ramp, most people have to get up to speed on the access road before they hit that short launching pad of a ramp to get up to the speed of traffic. And the flow of traffic is usually 80 mph in the right lane. There’s another problem…people doing 80 in the right lane and 45 in the left lane. Both make people nuts. And you will get a ticket for exceeding the speed limit on the access road. You cannot exceed the speed limit until you enter the ramp. So, good luck…until they lengthen the entrance ramps, you may want to go out and get yourself a crotch rocket motorcycle or a really fast car. Also, maybe if you didn’t do 80 in the slow lane, perhaps, karmatically, others will do it for you. And, upon exiting the freeway, people are exiting at freeway speed or higher. And, although the traffic on the access road must yield to a ramp (at least in Texas that is the law), most people don’t yield. And, if you’re coming off the freeway at 60, 70, 80 mph, you could hit that non-yielding moron right in the driver side door. At that high of a speed, they may not survive the impact. And you will get cited for exiting the freeway too fast. So, until they lengthen the exit ramps where they can, you may want to try to decelerate before exiting the ramp. Therefore, the people tailgating you will also naturally decelerate. Rather than locking ‘em up to get from 80 down to 35. So, good luck out there with all of the highway and road construction. You’ll need it. You may want to hang a lucky rabbits foot from your rearview mirror. I guess those one-legged rabbits out there aren’t so lucky…are they.
Until next week…
Comedienne / Artist / Writer / Benevolent Thesbo
Highway and Road Construction – Comedy Defensive Driving