Dear Texas... : Gravity Lens

Dear Texas...

by Jeff Patterson on 09/02/13

I have much to say about Worldcon, SF Signal winning another Hugo, meeting so many great folks in the flesh, and the passing of Fred Pohl. Those will wait until I have time to codify my experiences.

In the meantime I would like to address a few words to the State of Texas, in particular, it's highway system.

I had heard all my life that one had to drive fast in Texas to keep up with traffic, and that most out-of-state cars were simply too underpowered to handle even a modest commute down its Herculean roads.

This is pure and utter bullshit.

In the past few days I have driven half the width and over half the height of the Lone Star State. Six hundred miles may not qualify me as an expert, but sheer empirical evidence indicates that the inane dedication to two-lane roads in regions where there is NOTHING on either side to prevent expansion is simply ludicrous. In my lengthy travels the quotient of time I was able to achieve the actual posted speed limit was so miniscule as to be non-existent. Five-to-ten MPH below was the average. Traffic was near-constantly held up by single slowpokes keeping pace with much larger vehicles and refusing to pass them,

Perhaps if the money spent on the hundreds of utterly unnessesary Watch Your Speed signs and roundly-ignored Keep Right Except When Passing signs was pooled with citation revenues generated from ticketing motorists who think driving two-abreast is an acceptable practice and spent, perhaps, on PSAs educating the public that having a stack of twenty-plus cars, trucks, wide-loads, buses, and other sundry vehicles tightly packed behind them is a tangible threat to safety, then cruising through the beautiful environs of Texas might actually be an enjoyable experience.

The next time a Texan brags about its legendary roadways, feel free to give them a noogie. 

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