What’s the deal with the intersection of I35 and US 77—Dallas Drive—going southbound, at or about the Pep Boys and Calloway’s Nursery, on the north side of the intersection?
TxDoT (the Texas Department of Transportation), that two-syllable acronym that has come to mean so much to all of us, over these last ten years of the I-35 multi-mega Corridor Project from IH 635 (the Great Lyndon Baines Johnson Expressway) all the way to US 380 (Phase One, no less), the road that runs through Denton to Decatur and to US 287, and into the vast Northwest Texas Beyond, seems to have made a mistake. We don’t know if it’s a massive mistake. But it could be. And it’s certainly a major local disappointment.
But no one is talking about it. Not in the papers, and I haven’t seen it on social media.
People on the street, they’re talking about it. Especially those forced to negotiate daily loop-de-loops and 4 lights to turn left on Teasley from Dallas Drive, to escape the trap of a completely messed-up traffic pattern that this mistake has caused. We need to insert this discussion into the ongoing media dialogue Denton has with itself in real time, on social media and other cyber spaces, and get TxDoT to tell us what they are going to do about it. Because something will have to be done. Absolutely.
As I said, we have all become familiar with I35’s grandiose but necessary re-do. With that 48 km stretch of much more complicated road construction than TxDot has ever attempted before, with all the electronics embedded in the concrete, necessary for more toll congestion pricing, etc. But that is another story. There are associated physical issues (from driving on bad roads–elevates blood pressure and can even kill you in a crash) and metaphysical ones. To the latter, I know a person who listened to lectures on Immanuel Kant–you know, one of those Great Courses advertised in reputedly highbrow rags like Texas Monthly (not so highbrow; University of Texas highbrow so not high) and the New York Times Book Review (higher and higher brow, but not the New York Review of Books), from the Great Professors at the Great Universities, regularly $299.00 discounted to $39.99 (“Truly,” you’re thinking, “when and how long was it EVER for 299.95? Sort of like the singularity at the big bang: femtoseconds.”)–to while away the time sitting in traffic, trying to get to work. Much to the betterment of her understanding of mid 18th century moral philosophy in Germany and Europe, I might add.
So they have closed an underpass again, leading again to the same “confunction at the junction” they were trying to eliminate. I know that’s a hick expression but we have to say it before someone else captures it and I won’t be able to use it again.
Unfortunately for my professional and moral development I have lived here too long, but strangely long enough to know when someone has torn something down, and it becomes a matter of interest and sort of happiness that something new will solve some problem or another, but then to have hope for solution dashed as they build it back exactly the way it was before! Many of us old Dentonites had endured, with much wailing and gnashing of teeth, for decades, this traffic design disaster, which would eventually have to be fixed, so that cars coming from the left are not merging into the far left lane of the freeway traffic as it is coming around a curve in its left lane, and freeway traffic is not forced to simultaneously negotiate with local traffic immediately merging in from their left. Comprendo?
Put another way, successfully negotiating this interchange means to avoid getting sideswiped by them, or them by you. It’s the Hobbesian realization of bad traffic design, “the warre of carre against carre,” unregulated except by the Leviathan. And we are the Leviathan. It must be fixed, and responsible parties must be held accountable. So I will take the case. More on this as the investigation develops.
Since the contractors and TxDot have again closed the entrance to the ramp that leads to the freeway, I presume they have noticed the problem and are trying to see what to do about it. Or maybe not. But the mess is spreading into our neighborhoods, making this like Long Island. And you know what that means.
Update: Talked with TXDot. People, we are going to visit the site.
 Quote from B. Luker Jr. 2159 CDT Tuesday Apr 24.