Drivers Will Pay More For Driving Too Slow on LBJ

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM)– They say time is money. Kristen Youmans of Dallas certainly feels that way. “How much is 30 minutes of my time worth,” she asked herself. “If it’s a $5 charge, I would say, yeah, I’ll do it”

Road crews are in the process of expanding a 13-mile stretch of Interstate 635 from Greenville Ave to Luna Road. When it’s finished four years from now, drivers will be asked, how much is their time worth?

“I would pay the extra couple of bucks to get where I’m going really fast, instead of having to wait an extra 20 to 30 minutes in traffic,” said Jennett Gentry of Dallas.

The LBJ project will add three more lanes in both directions. However, these extra lanes won’t be free. They’re called “managed” lanes and drivers must pay to use them.

Here’s the catch. The slower and more congested the managed lanes are; the more it will cost motorists. It may sound backwards, but the designers say it makes perfect sense. “50 mph is the threshold that we are required to maintain in our contract,” explained Andy Rittler of the LBJ Infrastructure Group. “If we go below that, then the toll will increase,” Rittler added.

The goal is to keep the managed lanes moving at a good clip. If traffic slows below 50 mph, adding more cars will only make it worse. So by charging more, engineers hope to discourage some drivers to steer clear of the managed lanes.

That’s why for the next 30 days, engineers are testing high-tech sensors that ultimately will determine how much motorists will pay.

“We have counters that count the number of cars in each lane and count the speed that they’re traveling, so we can post the toll on the sign before you go in,” said Rittler.

Tolls are likely to range anywhere from 15 cents a mile to 55 cents a mile, depending on how fast traffic is moving. The sensors can send back real-time data so the cost is likely to fluctuate as traffic slows or speeds up.

Managed lanes are not like HOV lanes where drivers can cheat the system by simply crossing over the white lines. There will only be five entry and exit points along the 13-mile stretch of LBJ.

Traveling the entire stretch could cost you as little as $2 to as much as $7, once again, depending on the speed of traffic.

  • its me

    Sweet Christ in Heaven… the love of money will never cease to produce ways to f*ck people at every turn. What a racket. The logic behind this is so circuitous it makes my brain hurt.

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  • waf_98

    Are you kidding me?? A thirteen mile long column of traffic could be moving too slow due solely to the innatentiveness of a single driver at the head of the column. What about that guy? Give me a break!


    I know I’m going out on a limb. But what stops the managing company from putting their own vehicles on the highway and slowing down traffic to increase the rates. I can think of many ways that this type of system can be manipulated to benefit the managing Flat tire, accident, broken down vehicle. It will cost you $10 a mile.

    • Andy Rittler

      There is a tremendous amount of oversight from TxDOT and an Independent Engineer throughout the life of this contract to ensure that we are adhereing to our contract.

      Additionally, we don’t have enough vehicles to manipulate the tolling process so that is never going to happen. Period.

      Andy Rittler
      LBJ Express Corporate Affairs Director
      LBJ Infrastructure Group LLC

  • John Galt

    This is Idiocracy coming to fruition. Thanks for the warning, Mike Judge.

  • Rick McDaniel

    First, they tax us to build roads. Then they tax us to build toll roads. Then they charge us to use the toll roads. Now they will tax us if the traffic moves too slowly, on the toll roads?


    • Lemmings

      …and We The People (aka lemmings), just sit back and let it happen.

  • YRofTexas

    Going to have to learn all of the back and side streets. Congestion will start to build up on these roads as well. This is such stupidity. They keep bleeding us over and over. At some point, the American People will revolt. It is just going too far!

  • mark lampkin

    i R-E-F-U-S-E! to E_V_E_R! use a toll road. P_E_R_I_O_D! will not happen. unless it is a hearse carrying my cold dead body to the morgue. just raise the gas tax another dime or 20 cents. it hasnt been raised in 20 years. wont be either while perry is governor. hurry an elect him president so the rest of the country can feel our pain. he’ll sell the entire national highway system to foreigners (europe for now).

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