More About Driving in Texas

So, since moving to our own place, I’ve gone from using all these tricky streets to get to work to instead taking a freeway.  For some reason, the freeways out here had previously freaked me out.  Well, I actually do know some of the reasons.  First of all, many are “toll roads”, and I don’t mean like in Cali where you are warned well in advance.  Here, there is no real warning and many don’t even have places where “out of towners” can pay with cash.  So, if you don’t have the fob thingy, you’re busted.  To add to that, there is drama going on where one agency is charging HUGE, EXCESSIVE fees for “lost bills” – so thousands never get their ticket for let’s say $70, so next they get a revised ticket for $1,200 for “not paying” in the first place!  Didn’t get that one either?  Now your fee is $2,500…….So that freaked me out.

But even the FREEways freaked me out at first.  It’s kind of weird here in Texas – there are no “real” on ramps…..but you have to drive on the frontage road – which is basically a road parallel to the freeway – and then jump on whenever there is an opening.  To add a little stress, usually where there is a “jump on” point, there was previously a “jump off” point and THOSE cars get the right of way.  Stressful to those who think the whole thing is sort of crazy.  I won’t even talk about getting to a business that is located on the frontage road…..which side?  So I have to loop back?  Aaaaggghhhhh.

But, having gotten past the change with entering and exiting the freeways, that brings up the crazy merging of the freeways.  They get confusing, too.  For example, there’s the 35 out here.  Although, I am told only California’s say “THE 35”.  Texans say “35”.  Anyway, the 35 runs north and south, although it splits into TWO freeways, running through Dallas and also through Fort Worth.  So you might need to take the 35N-West………or the 35N-East……..and it’s crazy.  OR, you’re on the George Bush (“George Bush”) and you THINK you’re going to head North, but the sign to get on the freeway (well, in this case, toll way) says “West”.  What?!?!!?!

But it’s not ALL bad!  At interchanges, you often see the highway numbers painted in the lanes so you can be sure if you’re gonna make it to the freeway you want.  Pretty paintings, too – just like the highway signs.  You don’t see that in Cali.

So, to bring this post full circle, I now drive the 75 to work……um, I should have said “I drive 75 to work”.  It’s 8 miles of craziness.  The speek limit is 60 mph, weird, but some yahoo Texans ride my ass while I am going 75 like I am an old lady heading to church.  Then there ARE the “old ladies”, driving around 40 mph, who slam on their brakes if there is even a HINT of brake lights ahead (no matter if they are half a mile away!).  But the most shocking thing are the big rig trucks – they can drive IN ANY LANE!  I OFTEN see them in the fast lane, tooling along with not a care in the world!  THAT is going to take some getting used to!

Alas, I AM getting used to the freeway – at least the 75 – and don’t really mind the commute at all.  I feel like I’ve grown up a little, now……I drive on the freeway!

Gina OUT!

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