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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

White Truck Wednesday: 7.16.13

   My theory, as most do, began simply as an observation, sparked by an annoyance.
   Driving Metroplex freeways - mainly 75 south from Collin County toward Dallas - I began noticing more and more a certain type of vehicle causing me the most anxiety. The white pickup.
   White trucks riding cars' bumpers, the drivers regularly pounding on their steering wheels for traffic to part for their apparently more important path. White trucks dangerously swerving in and out of congestion, often illegally using the shoulder as their personal passing lane. And white trucks, manned by a single driver, arrogantly and unlawfully using the HOV lane.
   Consider this my weekly ode to white trucks, the most aggressive, dangerous and soulless vehicles on our roadways ...
   Toll roads.
   Don't like 'em. Don't really understand 'em.
   But, alas, don't have the stones to avoid 'em.
   I'm a slave to Sam Rayburn Tollway and the North Dallas Tollway and the George Bush Turnpike.
   (Wait, what's the difference in a Tollway and a Turnpike? Some turnpikes, turns out, are free. Toll roads? Duh.)
   When I was a kid I remember the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike. It had toll booths near Dallas and Fort Worth but when the tolls paid for the road, presto, booths were removed and it became known as Interstate 30.
   But these days our toll roads pay for themselves, over and over again. Overhead goes down via manned booths being removed, yet prices still go up.
   I don't have a regular job that requires me to drive a toll road on a daily basis, yet my Toll Tag account is still debited to the tune of $80 a month. Of course, as much as I bitch about toll roads, they're still not worse than the traffic, time and headaches on 75, 635 and 35.
   So, like I was saying, I love Toll Roads.
   Now, on to this week's White Truck madness ...

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  1. Recently moved and changed routes to work. No longer a slave to NTTA (for now).

    RW - take a look around, sir. Have you noticed it seems the ENTIRE FREAKING METROPLEX is under road construction? Almost every major highway has something going on. And yeah, I've lived in the area (mostly Arlington) my whole life, so I'm used to it.

    But it seems increased as of late. Everywhere we turn in DFW, there is massive construction going on. The worst being the mid-cities, it seems. I blame the NTTA. Their stamp into every concrete column seems to confirm my suspicions of their intent to control our highways. Living south of I-20, I was half-thrilled a couple of years ago when 161 was completed. Finally! A solid north-south alternative to 360, Loop 12 or I-35. Alas, that thrill was short lived when the toll tag sensors were erected.

    Now I read 635 will become a toll road, and soon the Chisholm Trail Parkway from Fort Worth to Cleburne. Yes, indeed, you'll pay for that, too. I agree with you. Shouldn't these roads be paid for by now? But you can point to TXDOT for allowing this to happen. Road construction/maintenance is no longer a state/federally funded project. And the subsidized dollars that are supposed to go to the state level? They are passed onto NTTA, which is a glorified monopoly. NTTA claims that by doing so, it keeps the pressure off TXDOT and the legislature of raising taxes or (GASP!) a state income tax.

    The NTTA, by way of tolls, pays for millions in road construction, making one less monster the state of Texas has to deal with. And it turn, controls the cost of said highways. I try to avoid them when possible, but they seem to be closing in on us from every corner.

    All the sudden, our big expansive Metroplex we love so much, has gotten lots smaller.. .75 cents at a time.

  2. I hate being a slave to toll roads, but if I want to get home in 15 minutes instead of 30, I have to take it. I work off of Preston and have to make sure I leave work at the right time to avoid the 5 o'clock rush. It's amazing the gridlock trying(in my case) to drive 1.5 miles and get to 190. I can appreciate people avoiding the toll roads, but our infrastructure can't handle the overload.

    Shouldn't our local government be responsible for giving us highways that help us get to where we live? Using the DNT is a basic requirement if you live in Frisco. Luckily for those living in Allen/McKinney you have 75, you're going to sit in traffic either way.

  3. So here is what our great state legislators gave us before they started on women.

    The DFW turnpike, now I30, was a toll road until it was paid for. Law says when a toll road has been paid for it will become toll free. Well a few years back, when we weren,t paying the state tied all toll roads together. When one is near paid off, they build another. It may be in Houston, because like I said, they are all lumped together..