Before revealing it, just to warn you that my commentary are like my blog posts, full of broken English. I know, I know, I'm still trying to improve.... =((
And so, I took it to the Learning Lab hoping that someone might help me to correct my lousy English. Ending up, just another sad story that would discourage myself.
Too many of the mistakes and I ran away after one page of correction cause I'm running out of time and I have classes to attend!
Chop it, here it is!
My title is to pick a video from Texas Tribune and write a commentary on it.
Here's the video~
Video: Fastest Highway in America
by Justin Dehn (October 24, 2012)
Southern stretched of Texas State Highway 130 from Austin to Seguin, which has an 85 mph speed limit, is the fastest highway in the United States. It was opened in the afternoon of October 24th, 2012 (http://usnews.nbcnews.com/, Nov 12, 2012). This fastest highway in America, also the first ever public-private partnerships toll road (2012) and the public were able to “try out” the road free until the November 11th, 2012.
Aman Batheja from The Texas Tribune was driving his 2007 Corolla after one hour the toll road was opened and he barely could reach 85 mph. The necessity and some reasons behind this raise of this toll road are being doubt. Civilian J.C. from Spring thinks that disregard the speed limit, there’s always people trying to break the law. “If they gonna speed, they kinda do it regardless within limitation.”, he said. As the open of the SH 130, the US 183 highway has a decrease in speed limit from 65 mph to 55 mph which Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF) believes that it is a move to make the toll way more attractive (http://www.kxan.com/, Jan 31, 2013). This has caused an uproar on social media as the US 183 which is free being set at a controversial 55 mph against the history-making highway speed limit of 85 mph (http://post-register.com/, Nov 16, 2012). In the video, Sandra Mauldin from City of Lockhart stated, “It has upset the community. I would like to see that raise. I do not think it will be detrimental in any way to the toll road.” Although the new toll road is better than the service toll in terms of speed limit as it shortens the time needed to reach their destination, people often are unwilling to pay more just to get to the “service road” with higher speed limit. “I could actually get from 183 to Palmer in 30 minutes…but I don’t really like to have to pay for it.” McCuller form Lockhart said.
From the research that I have found, the toll road has drivers hit on hogs on the day it was opened (http://www.kxan.com/, Oct 26, 2012) this means that constantly there will be hogs around the new toll road. Having a high speed limit of 85 mph, cars travelling on the new toll road definitely will be in a faster speed than average of other highway. This is very dangerous when hogs are to be appeared out of nowhere along SH 130 where drivers are human who tend to have responsive reaction to avoid crushing on animals that might cause an accident which ending up crossing over the ramp on the opposite lane or having continuous car crash. On top of that, if were to say that the reason of increasing the speed limit is to decrease the number of traffic offence committed then I have to agree to civilian J.C. who thought that no matter what the law is, there are always people that will try to challenge it.
The increase or decrease of both highway speed limits is not a problem as whole towards the public and is not biased of which will benefits more because the toll road having higher speed limit tends to be longer than the service road. In this case, from most of the articles or responses I’ve read from the internet, people are focusing on the speed limit of the roads without being aware of the fact that the service road is 10.2 miles shorter than the toll road with the distance estimated between Austin to Seguin using Google Map (https://maps.google.com/). Often, people are focusing on how fast they could reach their destination because of the speed limit but this is not the only thing that should be considered and for example they should consider about the faster the speed limit means the higher the possibilities of accidents to be happened, the traffic of the road, accidents happening, time frame that is it peak hour or not and et el. as they travel. Tested and proven , by Kxan’s staff Erin Cargile and her colleague travelling from Kxan news station in downtown Austin to the AT&T building in San Antonio, getting into two different cars that, using the service road will be faster (http://www.youtube.com/, 2012).
On top of that, I think we have to think about what is the reason behind the construction of this road and why does it exist? Who is the party that will benefit most from this toll road? It is the SH130 Concession Company. However, it is legit for me to doubt the SH130 Concession Company that why they are willing to build such project without a penny taken from the state government but just the charges on the users of the highway, because to me, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. According to the SH130 official portal, “SH 130 Segments 5 & 6 were built at zero cost to taxpayers. The estimated cost for SH 130 Segments 5 and 6 is currently $1.4 billion, including right of way acquisition, utility relocation, and improvements to connecting streets and roads, as well as the construction cost of the highway itself.” (http://mysh130.com/, 2012). Why are they running this business despite currently we are having a service road for the public already? Moreover, it is built without using tax payers’ money.
In conclusion, the fact that this SH130 is a toll way can’t be changed. Toll road or not, how fast is the speed limit, is never the important issue when we’re travelling. The most important thing is that we can reach our destination safely regardless how long it takes. Better late than never, they said.
- Calily Bien (2012) TxDOT studying speed limits on US 183 Retrieved January 31,2013 from http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/local/austin/txdot-studying-speed-limits-on-us-183
- Erin Cargile (Reporter).(2012) Which Freeway Will Be Faster? We Test IH-35 and SH 130 to San Antonio [Youtube Video]. Texas, United States: kxan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzRyjUo-HfM
- Four crashes on first night toll road opens (2012) Drivers hit wild hogs on new section of SH 130 Retrieved October 26, 2012 from http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/drivers-hit-wild-hogs-on-sh-130
- NBC News staff (2012) Texas highway with nation's fastest speed limit records first fatal crash Retrieved November 12, 2012 from http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/12/15112206-texas-highway-with-nations-fastest-speed-limit-records-first-fatal-crash?lite
- Post-Register (2012) Drivers outraged over speed limit ‘bait-and-switch’ Retrieved November 16, 2012 from http://post-register.com/local-news/drivers-outraged-over-speed-limit-bait-and-switch/
- SH 130 Concession Company (2012). Frequently asked question. Texas: SH 130 Concession Company http://mysh130.com/frequently-asked-questions/#question6
Guess I'll stop here. =P
Cannot waste anymore time, still have another exam tomorrow. (suppose to be 3, I took 2 earlier to avoid things chunk together.) =((((
Yet, another assignment due tomorrow too!! ;((((((