Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I made my first foray into Dallas proper today to pick up a coffee table I ordered from Crate & Barrel. The 30 minute drive confirmed the opinions I already had formed about Dallas driving - it sucks. There are many, many reasons why it sucks, but I'll give you just a few.

First off, people drive really slowly here. I must admit, people seem to drive pretty slowly wherever I've gone outside of Los Angeles. Having lived for 15 years in a city where the police have other things to worry about than speeders, I've grown used to driving around 80 mph pretty much everywhere, as long as traffic is moving. You can do that most of the time in L.A., and as long as you're not weaving in and out of traffic, you'll never get a ticket. Not so here in Dallas. Everyone seems to want to drive around 60. In the fast lane. Granted, that IS the speed limit, but come on!

Secondly, the freeways here are a mess. There is a freeway, highway, or other such major thoroughfare seemingly every 100 yards. Every other exit leads to some other 2 lane divided highway. If you look at a map of the Dallas-Ft Worth area, you'll see the freeways spread out in a wagon wheel from the center of town. This means that ultimately, if you head into the center of town, you will reach a place a very confusing place where the freeways collide. Trying to follow Google Maps directions can be puzzling as a freeways often turn into something else then back again, and will then end, inexplicably, in the middle of the city...only to pick up again two miles further heading out of town. I-35, which heads south from Oklahoma City into Dallas splits into two freeways - the 35W and the 35E - both of which run north-south. WTF?


Third, there is the Texas Turnaround. Much of Dallas is made up of divided streets and one way frontage roads. This makes it nearly impossible to make a left out of a parking lot, and I often find myself driving for blocks through parking areas looking for an outlet to turn left. Wikipedia describes the Texas Turnaround as such: "a lane allowing cars traveling on one side of a one-way frontage road to u-turn to the opposite frontage road (typically crossing over or under a freeway or expressway) without being stopped by traffic lights or crossing the highway traffic at-grade." Here's a diagram.
Sometimes they work great - you can make the u-turn without waiting for the light. But if you don't know where you're going, you're screwed, going in the other direction when all you wanted to do was make a left turn.

For now, I'll remain happy that I'm working at home and only driving about 10 miles a week.

6 Comments:

Blogger Diane said...

have you bought a Tony Romo jersey yet? To get a feel for Tx sports, I recommend you read "Boys will be Boys - the glory days and party nights of the Dallas Cowboys"

8:44 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Eolin is The New Old Biddy said...

YIIIIIIIIIIKES.

11:20 PM  
Blogger Auburn Kat said...

Driving in Dallas does SUCK!

5:08 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Have you figured out why they call it Beltline Road yet? :-)

1:29 PM  
Blogger LA said...

The roads in San Diego are pretty effed up, too.

Oh, and NEVER drive in Boston.

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Frances said...

You could ask for the guidance of used cars Los Angeles dealers and car owners if you might have some troubles regarding this area.

8:24 PM  

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