Central's HOV Lane Drives Me Crazy
Let’s pretend for a moment that I like NASCAR. I did, since I know you forgot, once write about it. So there. There’s the flimsy sports connection to this rant.
It involves the ridiculous 14-mile stretch of HOV lane on Central Expressway/75 from I-635 to Allen. Making the trip from McKinney down to meet Rick Carlisle this afternoon, I was reminded again why it has to be Dallas’ – I know, actually it’s the Texas Department of Transportation’s brain fart – dumbest idea since passing on Jonestown.
And, what do you know, I’ve got 5 reasons:
5. Collin County = No carpooling -- There is no “I” in Dallas, but that’s all we have in our cars. What we’ve done is use 25% of the road to cater to 1% of the drivers. Brilliant.
4. It’s a Trap -- You can only exit at three spots: 635, Park Boulevard in Plano and McDermott Drive in Allen. That’s right, no exit for the stretch’s main junction: George Bush Parkway. Double Brilliant.
3. A Sign of the Times – The first 37 times I headed north from downtown I missed the on-ramp to the HOV. The sign is there all right, it’s just inconveniently camouflaged as the Midway Road exit. Miss it there, and your next chance is Plano.
2. HOV is No VIP – Heading south is just as confounding. When the HOV ends at 635, it roller-coasters you over Central Expressway and onto – ta-da! – the service road. Huh? Your reward for car-pooling is to be forced to merge back onto 75 amongst the commoners.
1. Paper or Plastic – The HOV lane dividers are made of what, light bulbs? WTF?! I’m sure these plastic posts are cheaper (i.e. suckier), but when cars accidentally swerve into them they immediately shatter into flying shards of petrified plastic. My neighbor suffered collateral damage of dents in his car and a flat tire from a nearby accident’s shrapnel. Drive the highway on a given day – actually, any day – and the posts look like rows of broken, jagged teeth. What was supposed to be a psychological barrier has deteriorated into a physical danger.
Drive friendly, Texas. -- Richie Whitt