Some of my friends will argue that driving at speeds over 55 mph results in much less efficient gas mileage and should, therefore be avoided. I'm sorry, while I agree with the issues of caring for our environment and conserving energy whenever and however we can, I just can't make myself drive under posted speed limits. I get frustrated with drivers who slow the rest of us down on highways by not maintaining proper speeds. I have posited the theory that slow driving actually causes more traffic accidents on major highways than does moderately higher speed. When on major highways, we expect other drivers to be travelling at the posted speed limits and, if they are not doing so, that they have the courtesy of driving in the "slow lane."
Let me clarify. I like Austin. It is a very fun city with tons of great restaurants, eclectic shops, modern buildings, great parks and theater and is just a fun place to visit. It is not a fun place for commuters. In addition, I have family that live north of Austin and prior to SH-130 opening, I visited them only when absolutely necessary. Now with the opening of the tollway, I visit much more often (hee-hee-hee...maybe more than they'd like.) Anyway, for me, the cost of using the tollway is inconsequential when weighed against the frustration I felt when I had to rely on I-35.
Another fun benefit of using the SH-130 is the speed limit. For most of the route, the speed limit is 80 MPH and on the newest leg (the southernmost part), the limit is 85. Whoo-hoo! The biggest problem with the newly opened leg of the road is not the speed, rather, it is the wild hog population in the area. The road takes you through former ranch-land. Like many parts of the southern U.S., wild hog populations in the area are a problem for farmers and ranchers. Now, it seems, they are a problem for drivers as well. Fortunately, (or not), they are mostly nocturnal so daytime driving on the road has not been a problem.
I can tell you that today, as I drove to and from Round Rock to visit my sister Karen, I loved the drive. I was able to circumvent Austin and I assure you I did not drive 55...Sammy would have been proud.