Texas Roads, Drivers, and Climate Change

 

As we age, funerals are more commonplace.  Saying so long to a friend or family member is tough.  Traveling the last two weeks to funerals well over 200 miles from home only to turn around and return, makes for a long day.

Driving down 30 to 20 going out west I was amazed at several things.

Speed limit 60.  What does that mean?

When I was in Drivers-Ed that meant that you did 60mph or under it but not too much under as you don’t want to impede traffic flow.

I stayed right around 60, and I was impeding traffic.  Most drivers were well over 70 and many over that.

Part of the problem I think is that there are too few speed limit signs posted on 30.  This makes it easy to forget yourself, and before you know it, you are going much faster than 60.

I have lived here for many years, and I am not stupid enough to keep up with traffic.  Just about always there is a cop outside of the city of Ft. Worth who sits there running radar. Today there was one about a tenth of a mile before the speed turned up to 65 waiting for someone to go faster.

We need more signs alerting us of the speed and a little more law enforcement visibility.

I wanted to know what person designed the roads and decided what speeds that they should be in the country?  There are really good roads with slow speed limits, and then there are these “shithole” two-lane roads that are 70.  FFS really!

If you look at the roads carefully, you will see tire marks on the turns where some driver took them too fast and didn’t make it.  Are you working with the grim reaper to get the soul count up, or are you just that stupid?

My favorite is this, you are on this two-lane pothole-laden road doing 70 as to not get run over, in the blink of an eye, the speed goes from 70 to 30.  Yes Barney Fife or the 80-year-old version of him is sitting there waiting with his number 2 pencil and big chief tablet waiting for you.

“What does it cost to go 70 in a 30?” 

You got to be kidding me Cross Plains!  Is that how you generate revenue? Some attorney needs to file a class action lawsuit against the town of Cross Plains for this practice.   I am damned serious because they are not the only cities or towns that do this.  Tickets should not be revenue generators.

Now we have the good folks in Arlington Texas.  On a Saturday mind you with the temperature of 113 degrees on Hwy30, traffic comes to a standstill.  “Why?”

Piss poor planning on the engineers or contractors part leaving road construction idle in an area that is congested anyway.  Arlington should be pissed as they host the Cowboys, the Rangers and then there are Six Flags and a water park all right there.

It took 45 minutes to go less than one mile. Never mind that it is 113 in the shade and never mind that peoples tempers were even hotter but, if you really are pushing climate change wouldn’t thinking things through like idle construction be a good place to start?

Are you only serious about climate change when you can sell carbon credits?

How much Carbon monoxide do you think tens of thousands of cars idling for 45 minutes each puts into the atmosphere?  Now factor in the large trucks billowing out black diesel fumes. Arlington, you can do better. The Rangers and Cowboys should be pissed.

“How can you do better?”

“How about a flashing sign at the 820 split warning of the 45-minute wait and you might consider taking 820 to 183 or stay on I 20 or take some other alternate routes? ”  With all the tax revenue you collect how about doing something constructive with it. Save a tree or the planet or the climate! How about saving me from my head exploding! What the hell happened with common sense?”

One fellow who also sat through that mess passed the traffic doing over 100 mph in a poorly maintained car.  Zipping in and out of vehicles the back of his vehicle swayed violently many times as he drove very erratically.  I see those guys on crotch rockets doing that but, that car is not built for that nonsense and he will not only kill himself but probably someone else.

Hello officer Smith, it might be a good idea to have officers around the areas past the congestion like that, as people will be pissed and late and might be tempted to do stupid stuff, like this clown.

KRLD where were you with traffic on the 8 ’s? 

To round out the fun of today in the 113-degree heat I want to speak to you truckers out there.  Now maybe this will never get to you but just in case…Put the damned phones up!

It is bad enough when cars are all over the road because unlike the rest of humanity they are more capable of texting and driving at the same time, FFS!.  Cars are not driverless yet.  Trucks, on the other hand, I genuinely do not understand.  You cannot get on the highway and not see it.  18 wheelers all over the damned road.  When you pass them, you can see them with the phone in hand.  FFS, you are going to kill someone with that thing and while you may be ok with it, the person or persons you kill I assure you will not be ok.

Why don’t trucking companies have cameras in their vehicles so they can spot idiots like this and take them off the road?

I don’t know the answer to the problem but, I have an idea…

I would encourage people to get a dash cam and when you capture something like this, post it to youtube and tag the company that the truck represents. Now if you have a passenger, then they can use their camera and get it.  If you are driving and you do not have a dashcam or passenger, do not become part of the problem, just steer clear of the maniac and hope he or she doesn’t kill someone.

In summary: if you are upset with climate change, do something about having tens of thousands of car sitting in one place idling for hours on end.  Plan your construction projects better.  If you are the engineer who has anything to do with traffic lights, synchronize them when possible, so cars do not have to sit and idle on busy motorways.

You who figure out what the speed should be on the road, my god, put some common sense thought into the process! The inconsistencies boggle the mind.  It is almost as if you tossed a dart at a bunch of numbers when you were planning it.

You need more speed limit signs on 30 and 20.  You also need more police presence driving the posted speed limit setting the example.  When a car doing the speed limit is impeding traffic, that is a bad thing and indicative of piss poor planning on someone’s part.  More signs!

Finally my last bitch for the day…. Road construction zones.  I have traveled this great nation to all states but one. I must tell you that when I see these bogus road construction signs, fines double and there is nobody around or in many cases, not one spade of dirt overturned it just smells of extortion. Yes, Extortion.  To take miles of a perfectly good highway and have everyone do 55 instead of 75 only because some orange signs are posted needs to stop.  Tickets should not be a source of revenue.

I would call on the state legislature to introduce a bill making this practice illegal.  I would also ask to have the lower speeds in constructions zones not enforced on days when the workers are not present, again, a flashing sign.

If two-lane roads in BFE can be 70, I think a stretch of highway with no workers present can be 70 too.

Folks it is just common sense, and we seem to be short on supply…

For those of you who follow me, as I am a writer, I wanted to tell you that my latest thriller is finished.  I love it!

The name of the work is called “Presidential Assassins.”  The manuscript will now go to editing, and the cover art still has to be created.

The story is so good, you’re going to love it!

Follow me on Twitter for more updates @authortwscott

Follow me here on WordPress to keep up with my thought of the day.  Sorry if you don’t like my terse tone but my god, it is time someone uses that gray matter between their ears for something other than to hold up their hat.

 

Much Love -TW