Day Trip to Austin -Confused by 183 Toll RoadSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Day Trip to Austin -Confused by 183 Toll Road

23 December 2007 at 7:38:28 AM

Drove down to Austin for something yesterday-I like all the legs of the trip, and particularly from Lampasses on down, on 183. Right outside of Lampasses on the left is a big iron dragon swimming in a field, for example, and I was out early enough that a number of people had their homes decorated for Christmas and the lights still on. There's another place farther south where the road curves up and around on a bluff that has some gorgeous scenery.

When I got closer to Austin, I saw a sign that said 183A Toll Road. Well, I sure didn't want to get on that, but the signs were confusing as to whether I was about to go through toll booths. ... I never did and ended up on 183 without ever being tolled. I couldn't figure out if TxDOT was just trying to confuse people into taking the toll when the *other* 183 was available, or I happened to luck out, or those who want to take the toll road have to specifically get on it.

I found out when I came BACK up north. There was a sign that said something like "This is the LAST FREE ROAD YOU'LL BE ON BECAUSE WE'RE FIXING TO TOLL YOU"... so I got off on that exit. But then, I saw other people that looked like they were driving on 183 and they weren't on a tolll road. I decided to stay on the feeder, though and at one point there was a lOT of traffic all trying to turn left. I couldn't get into that lane, too late (you know how that is!) so I went straight even though there were few cars. AHA. THERE was the toll road. And the booths. I asked the booth operator where I went wrong-told him I didn't WANT to be on that toll road, that I would do it this once but I needed to know how I could have avoided it; he gave me a map and told me where to turn-THAT was where all those people who were ALSO avoiding the toll road had been turning to the left.

So, it was $1.50 to be on this toll road. I was driving and then I thought, hey, am I *REALLY* on this toll road? Because there were TRAFFIC LIGHTS. That made you STOP. It sure wasn't like the North Dallas Tollway that I used for years-on THAT toll road, you never stopped until you got OFF the toll way, went through a booth and then on down to a signal. (That's actually not quite true, because as more and more people started using the tollway, you stopped... or were driving at a snail's pace.... pretty often). I thought, I'm paying a dollar fifty to be on a road that is JUST LIKE the other 183, except that there's not many cars on it? Pfffftttt

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