Driving / Traffic, Dallas
We didn't park at the hotel, where the parking is $10 for 3 hours. Instead we parked at the Reunion lot for $3.00. It is possible that this lot is not available if the Reunion arena is in use, and the lot is a bit rough and is semi-paved, but that's significantly cheaper. We walked a little bit over the pedestrian bridge to get to the Tower, and we might have walked less at the hotel. But not enough to make me want to pay an additional $7.00. It wasn't as if we had to walk up the tower.
I guess the fact that texas is so flat and our roads so straight gives party goers the false impression that they can stay between the dotted lines. We have a horrible record concerning drunk driving fatalities. Please be careful when driving yourself, and if youve had too much, most clubs are more than happy to call a cab.
There is always some kind of road construction going on around the Dallas area. During peak hour the traffic can be horrendous in these areas (more horrendous than usual) and sometimes even at peak time, some sections of the freeways can be closed. Be sure to check the traffic reports if you are going somewhere other than you know to make sure you won't have any delays.
One of the hardest things I found when getting around on the freeways in the Dallas metro area is the double names of the highways. You just get used to them using numbers, then all of a sudden you find a sign to an actual named freeway. It would be nice if they at least put both ways. Here are some examples.
Interstate 635 – aka - LBJ Freeway
U.S. Highway 75 – aka - Central Expressway
Loop 12 – aka - Northwest Highway
Interstate 30 – aka - R.L. Thornton Freeway
Highway 183 – aka - Airport Freeway.
Highway 114 – aka - John Carpenter Freeway
Interstate 45 – aka - Julius Schepps Freeway
Interstate 35 – aka - Stemmons Freeway
On Interstate 635 (LBJ Freeway) where it connects with US Hwy 75 (Central Expressway) the development of the High Five Project is underway. This is an amazing five level interchange right in the heart of Dallas. The $261 million project began in January 2002 and is expected to be completed in January 2007. It will be one of the biggest and most impressive interchanges in the United States when it is complete.
During the constructions there are often major slow-downs and bottleneck situations during peak time.
A favorite past-time in Dallas is sitting in traffic. Central and LBJ always seem to be backed up...even when they widen the roads. Traffic has advantages though: more time to spend on cell phones, on listening to bad radio talk shows, etc.... To avoid traffic while on vacation in Dallas, don't drive on major roads during rush-hour (usually around 8-9 a.m. and around 5 p.m).
There's also a need for speed in Dallas. On the freeways, you can drive at the speed limit and still get passed by most of the other vehicles on the road. And, everybody drives...walking or biking for transport or taking the bus are frowned upon.
On some major freeways around Dallas you will find a sign for a HOV Lane which stands for High Occupancy Vehicle which operates only during peak times. The rest of the time, the block barriers are moved for normal travel. Those allowed to use this lane must have 2 or more people in a vehicle otherwise you will get ticketed. Camera’s operate on these lanes.
Driving in Dallas area is no fun. People don't pay much attention to other cars, switch lanes randomly and drive fast.
Also watch out for constant traffic jams that only add to the agony of getting around in DFW
Deep Ellum is predominantly a pedestrian area on Elm, Main and Commerce Streets. Commerce St is one way going east and Elm St is one way going West.
There is metered street parking which is free after 10.00pm. but numerous off street parking lots. The meters charge 25c for 50 mins.
They've got a lot of space in Texas, and the only way for visitors to get around the Dallas sprawl is to hire a car. But keep to the speed limits: you don't want to look into your rearview mirror and see some Texas Ranger galloping fast behind you.
Be careful if you let a foriegner drive your car..in Dallas...get the max protection on car insurance...even Americans can't drive with the Texans.....
Ok I have to admit that this is a postcard, not real life.
Driving / Traffic: WORST DRIVERS ARE IN DALLAS, BEWARE!
If you are driving in Dallas, May GOD bless you. I have travelled a lot around the country but NEVER have I encountered such horrendous driving skills. I did not expect it from a city like Dallas. People here have problems keeping the speed limit or to put it simply they NEVER are doing accepted standards of speeding or try to be within speed limits. If it is a 60 speed limit, you can almost see people doing a 90 and when you drive doing 60 or 70,people over take you from all sides..left and RIGHT and some even honk at you so you maintain what they do. These are my observations and experiences while I was at Dallas for 1 week. People tail gate you and at high speeds merge. Merging is so dangerous in Dallas and I almost was going to have an accident. All merges made by other drivers are Dangerous even if you are careful so watch out when you see a merge sign and be prepared to do the best you can. People dont put indicators and zip in front of you and make you feel extremely stressful and uncomfortable. So make sure you know these and keep in mind when driving in Dallas,texas..these guys are rude drivers.
And importantly, WHERE ARE THE COPS??
If you're thinking of driving in Dallas - DON'T... the freeways are horrendous especially at peak times. Large Semi's and kamikaze drivers are let loose in this fast flowing (or NOT, at times) playground. Forget indicators, even if they are signalling, it maybe showing the wrong way to which they want to go and quite often the indicators are red lights, making it difficult to see against the brake lights. Unfortunately you pretty much have to have a car in Dallas to get around - so good luck.
Dallas was named in the top five in a 2003 study of the rudest and most dangerous drivers in the country. They ranked 4th behind New York (1st), Miami (2nd) and Boston (3rd). Citing the problems, rude gestures, speeding, not indicating and not knowing the road rules. They are aggressive drivers.
Interstate highways can get fairly congested during the weekday rush hour times (7am to 9am and 4pm to 6pm), particularly 75, 35 & 635. For those of you accustom to long on/off ramps on highways like in the Northern United States, on/off ramps connecting the highways to local streets in Texas are very short. So, there is not a lot of time/distance to speed up or slowdown to merge into traffic. Otherwise, traffic and driving in Dallas is not too bad compared to other large US cities like New York, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Talking on the cell phone and driving sure get's a bad rap. Everyone is always multi-tasking and talking on the phone so remember to drive with caution. If you should loose your hands-free attachment..(like I have done) this guy offers a suggestion.