My Case for Mandatory Passing Lanes on East Texas Two Lane Highways
Last week during my time off, I made a trip to Frisco. As I was mapping out my route, I decided not to take the usual I-20 to Dallas and travel around their sometimes ridiculous highways. I wanted to take a "road less traveled" approach. It was great. However, I realized that something needs to be made mandatory on two lane highways in East Texas with high speed limits, passing lanes.
The route I chose to get to Frisco was to take Highway 69 through Greenville then onto Highway 380 then down to Frisco. Sure, it is a much longer route but I got to see some areas of East Texas, and North Texas, I either had not been through in a long time or never been through. Kind of the point of a road trip I would think.
Plus, it was A LOT less frustrating not having to deal with the major highways. I was on vacation, the less headache the better.
However, one thing I did notice that did annoy me a little bit, there were no passing lanes on the two lane Highway 69 between Mineola and Greenville. For the most part, the speed limit was 70 miles per hour. Sure, there were areas that were marked for passing but the oncoming lane always had a vehicle, or vehicles, heading my way preventing me from making the pass.
Hwy 31 heading toward Kilgore had this issue for the longest time. Now that passing lanes have been added, that drive is no longer as frustrating as it used to be. I think that any two lane highway in Texas with a speed limit above 60 miles per hour should add passing lanes at least every four miles or so.
Many of these two lane roads, especially through very rural areas, are used for farm vehicles which can slow the pace. Truckers need to use these roads to drop off their goods in the smaller towns. Some vehicles that travel these highways are not capable of being used on an interstate and will slow traffic down. Passing lanes would help break up some of these bottlenecks.
Having said all that, making the "road less traveled" trip was the perfect way for me to get where I was going while taking some time off work. I suggest you do the same the next time you're road tripping on your time off. It certainly was a more relaxed trip.