Tag Archives: turns

US290 to RM2222

Sign 1: RM2222, Airport Blvd, and I-35 NB

Sign 1: RM2222, Airport Blvd, and I-35 NB

US 290 becomes RM2222 at I-35. The first sign you’ll see tells you what lane you want to be in. This is far more descriptive than most of the road signs in Austin already, but the logic is still flawed. Go up a little and the I-35 northbound ramp branches off, but that particular lane continues. The next sign comes up.

Sign 2: Airport Blvd

Sign 2: Airport Blvd

Oh snap! If you were in the middle lane and you weren’t paying attention, you would have missed your exit. The middle lane was clearly not an “Exit Only” lane. The left two lanes actually continue to RM2222 which after the interchange becomes a 4-lane city street called Koenig (pronounced KAY-nig) Lane. If you missed the Airport Blvd exit, you will have a helluva time getting back unless you pull a U-Turn when the road becomes undivided. An overhead view shows that there is a rail line that runs parallel to Airport Blvd and there’s no way to cross it until you get to a major street. Good job, guys!


This sign big enough for you?

Left lane US183

Left lane US183

You’d think something as important as trying to get on the highway would require a large sign to get your attention. Nope! Why waste something like that on an overhead sign when a 3 foot sign in the median would work just fine like this one at US183 and Braker Lane? That’s a nice big FU from the transportation department.


MoPac and 35th Street

MoPac and 35th Street

MoPac and 35th Street

MoPac and 35th Street is one of my favorite intersections in town only because it has hella tight cloverleaf on and off ramps which makes it interesting to fly around. It also has a feeder road that starts and ends as an on and off ramp as well. It seems some people don’t understand that if you’re getting onto the feeder road from 35th street, you need to yield to those getting off MoPac. TxDot has added flashing yield signs to get the point across even farther. Seriously, if you’re getting onto the freeway, get up to speed and don’t block the ones getting off! The other day some lady in a Chrysler 300 tried to race me towards the end of the dual-lane part of the feeder road. I had the right-of-way since I was getting off MoPac and trying to get onto the cloverleaf. I managed to make my move with barely any room to spare and entered the off-ramp a bit faster than I wanted since stability control kicked in to save my ass. I hate people.


Satisfaction

Sunday drive

Sunday drive

There’s nothing more satisfying than a perfectly timed, rev-matched down-shift. That feeling of approaching the top of the hill with a stale green light not knowing when it’ll change to yellow just gets the adrenaline pumping. Once you’ve past the point of no return and know you can make it before the light changes, your heart bursts with emotion for the next trick. Clutch in… downshift… tap gas… clutch out… and BAM it’s perfect. Accelerate through the left turn and upshift out of the intersection. The smile shows itself as the others wish they could be as awesome as you.


Eastbound and Down

I’m rarely on I-35 and even rarer needed to go on eastbound TX71 from I-35. The other day I needed to go the airport from downtown and knew I needed to take eastbound TX71 there, so I’m on the lookout for the off-ramp. If you’re not already familiar with the roads in Austin, you’re gonna have a bad time. Here I encounter the junction of I-35 and TX71. It could be a dedicated fly-over or it could put you on the frontage road or there just isn’t an exit. You never know unless you’ve driven here before. Well, the signs only indicate a westbound route. This leaves you thinking if there’s another exit or no exit for eastbound.

On I-35 southbound towards TX71/US290

On I-35 southbound towards TX71/US290

Getting closer, there is no sign indicating there is an eastbound TX71 exit. Knowing very well that I needed to go to the airport, I took my chances with the westbound exit because of the airport sign.

On I-35 southbound towards TX71/US290 about to exit

On I-35 southbound towards TX71/US290 about to exit

Lo-and-behold there’s the sign indicating the exit for eastbound TX71! Why oh why wasn’t this marked earlier?!

TX71 eastbound: left fork

TX71 eastbound: left fork


The Domain, Next Right

The Domain, next right

The Domain, next right

The Domain in Austin is a mixed-use, purpose-built retail mall/apartment complex. This sign seems rather informative about how to get there, until you actually attempt it. Going northbound on MoPac you want to exit at Duval/Burnet. Once you get off the highway, you need to make a split decision quick as diagrammed below:

Seriously? Really?

Seriously? Really?

The distance between the off-ramp and the entrance to the Domain is ridiculously short! Not only that, but the frontage road has a speed limit of 55 MPH! You have to cut across two lanes of traffic and then slow down to make a near-hairpin right turn! Who designed this crap?! And actually, if you knew how the roads were laid out (and who fkn does without living and driving here first) you would actually exit at Braker Lane (the exit prior to this one) and have a more logical way to get to the Domain!

Source: Google Maps


Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs

Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs

Blocking up the scenery, breaking up my mind

Do this don’t do that can’t you read the sign?


More turn lane fun

The other day I was heading back to work and I came across a dude in a Jeep. He was doing 40 MPH in the left lane on a 60 MPH highway. I was coming up behind him doing the speed limit. So I slow down to 40 too because I don’t want to overtake him on the right since I have to make a left turn into work soon. Well, I see this guy get into the left turn lane and I’m thinking he’s going to make a left into the car repair shop next door to my work since he got into the center turn lane real early. So I don’t bother speeding up because I’m going to make a left turn. Well, apparently this guy is turning into the same parking lot as my work so I couldn’t get into the left turn lane. If you’re going to make a left turn, get into the turn lane at the appropriate time! I can’t anticipate that you’re going to overshoot a valid left to make a left farther up the road! Get your brakes checked if you can’t slow down fast enough!


Yield to Ramp

Yield to Ramp

I can't be bothered to read signs!

So two-way frontage roads may look OK on paper, but I can see this as an accident waiting to happen. I’m surprised the average driver is able to handle this since it relies too much on reading the sign and being aware of one’s surroundings. The person leaving the highway may not realize they are entering a two-way street, and the person on the frontage road may miss the yield sign or gamble with trying to make it through the intersection. It is almost like a legalized version of chicken.


SUVs make good barn doors

Terrible parking spot

The parking situation at work is terrible. The lines for the parking spaces are so faded that you’d need a UV spectrometer to find the parking spaces. Coupled with no assigned parking spaces, the parking situation is a free-for-all. The only way to know that there are parking spaces are the cement blocks for the parking stall. The cement blocks are just as wide as a car, but not much wider. Since the blocks are the only metric for figuring out where to park, it just becomes a parking lot full of terrible parking.

Lately there has been a Ford Exploder parked at the end of the line of spaces in front of the building. It is a terrible parking spot for an SUV because traffic is coming up the aisle to make a 90 degree turn at the point where the SUV is parked. Since traffic is two-way in the lot, if I’m coming up to make a right turn into the aisle, I cannot see around this SUV. One time I was rushing back to work after lunch and I came up to make a turn into the parking aisle and this minivan was coming up the aisle at the same time. We could not see each other and I ended up slamming my brakes and locking all four wheels into a skid due to the loose asphalt. I came to a stop within inches of hitting this van.

SUVs should have their own parking area like compact cars so not to annoy regular car drivers. As if it’s not enough they block the view when backing out of a parking spot, but also when navigating around the parking lot. Banish the SUVs to the dark side of the lot!