FORT WORTH (CBS11) – It took 60 years to design and build the Chisholm Trail Parkway and 18 months of driver complaints to realize planners made a mistake. Cowtown saddled drivers with a 50 mph limit on the stretch of highway between Interstates 20 and 30. And Fort Worth city leaders are hearing about it.
“I can predict what people are going to say when they walk up to me and the subject comes up,” said council member Jungus Jordan who was one of the parkway’s biggest proponents. “The first thing they say is we love the Chisholm Trail Parkway and the second thing they say is when are you going to raise the speed limit.”
“They definitely need to raise the speed limit,” laughed Estelle Easterling who drives on the toll road.
The signs reading 50 have added up to one big headache for city leaders. Drivers don’t want to pay tolls just to hit the brakes.
“There’s nobody hardly on there,” Easterling said. “I just don’t understand why the speed limit is so low.”
The idea two years ago was to slow traffic to keep noise down in the neighborhoods next to the parkway.
“And, we’ve actually heard from those concerned citizens saying it’s not the problem we thought,” Jordan said. “Go ahead and raise the speed limit.”
The NTTA says the first 18 months of traffic have been busier than expected, But outside of rush it’s often like you have the road to yourself. And some drivers are already taking the law into their own hands.
“If I see a cop I’m going to lay off the accelerator,” said driver Felicia Fiddite. “If I don’t, I’m going 85!”
The Fort Worth council will likely vote to raise the speed limit tonight. Then it will be up to the NTTA to study the stretch of road to decide if drivers can travel as fast as they think they should.
Jordan said a vote in favor of raising the speed limit was almost certain to pass. It would like be sometime in spring before NTTA had a recommended speed limit to offer the city, he said.
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