Driving in South Austin is sometimes a big pain. We were going somewhere on Sunday and driving back on I35N to get to 290 West/Ben White to get to 360 to get home. There is a ramp from 35 to 290 West but it does not connect, so instead we have to wait through two lights (one at 290/35 and the other one at 290 and Congress). I can’t imagine how long it takes to traverse these two lights during rush hour traffic in the morning. There is a similar issue at Mopac and 290 that I am not sure will ever get solved.
I bring this up because on Saturday we were driving to IKEA in Round Rock and took Toll Road 45 to get there. On the way back we got off 45 and saw that the toll road wanted to keep going. I assumed (wrongly) that 45 would go alongside or merge with 620 and be a freeway for a little longer. So I searched up the web and found this interesting article. I also emailed Ben Wear of the Austin American Statesman and he told me that the article still holds true. The Toll Road authority did not ever negotiate to get the land to make 45 stop at Anderson Mill. The reason it could/did not is because of the number of business/homes that would have to be demolished for the road to have right of way. Cedar Park did not like this as a substantial part of their tax base was on the north side of 620 and it would lose tax revenue on this deal.
Another question to the readers is, Has their ever been a traffic jam on Toll Road 45. I find it hard to imagine. I do drive it only on weekends, but I hardly see any cars on the road. We use it often as its a quick shortcut to North Austin to visit friends where we used to live. I imagine a lot of the “Dellites” in Steiner Ranch use 45 to get to work, but wonder who else.
Another note/thing we saw that I think is crazy is the number of Chase Banks in Austin. There is one inside both HEB’s on 620. There is a freestanding Chase Bank outside the HEB at 620 and Anderson Mill. There is another Chase Bank near the Walmart on 620. The latest one I see now is the one almost finished at 2222 and Jester at the new Ladera Bend. Wow 5 Chase Banks in a small area… do we really need that many?