April 09, 2007
The only thing that surprises me about this article regarding small town speed traps in Texas is that the town of Selma isn't on it. That place, just north of San Antonio on I-35, was notorious back in the day before the State Lege passed a law that limited how much moolah an under-5000-population locality could rake in from speeders. (Steve Earle sung about it a few years ago.) Perhaps these towns did a better job of adjusting to the new math than Selma did, or maybe the northward expansion of San Antonio gave Selma a real tax base and thus obviated the need to bleed the speeders. Whatever the case, I'm just glad that none of the places listed is anywhere near a regular driving route for me. The rest of you, caveat driver.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 09, 2007 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
There is one right by an entrance to your 'hood: the Dallas/Pierce exit from I-45 South. The posted limit is only 40, even though in construction and purpose it is essentially the same as Spur 527. They wait in the crook where Jefferson peels off and are hidden by the rise just after the Dallas exit from the spur. I've seen as many as 5 patrol cars there in the past few months.
I drive I-35 between Waco and Fort Worth quite often. There is definitely one in Alvarado, about 20 miles south of Fort Worth on I-35W. It is a rare day that I don't see someone pulled over by the Alvarado cops on that stretch. Another notorious local spot is Lorena, about 20 miles south of Waco on I-35.
Waco itself has no traffic patrol police. At least no police dedicated to that. Once in a while some neighborhood complains about local speeders on local streets then they'll set up a radar car for a couple days to slow everyone down. But aside from that the local Waco police have better things to do apparently.
Palmer and adjacent cities on I-45 just outside of Dallas. Like Houston, the speed limit drops 60 miles or more out of the metro area, and these cities are very much still rural by comparison. This leaves unaware drivers (and very few speed limit signs to remind them) that they are on what the state considers urban freeways.
Personnally, when traveling, I check the Speed Trap Exchange for where the worst of the worst speedtraps are (and Houston has a few as well).
The speed limits on IH-45 south of Dallas drop from 70 to 65 when entering Ellis County and from 65 to 60 when entering Dallas County not because of any rural / urban distinctions but because both speed limits are environmental speed limits enacted as part of the air quality games.
Selma has more than 5,000 people now, but that hasn't stopped them from still being a speed trap.
That entire area (Selma, Schertz, Cibolo, Live Oak & Universal City) is really a speed trap. It even extends to their residential streets, where the speed limits are crazy numbers like 27 and 32 mph.
Selma does have a pretty good tax base though, they've got a Horse Racing Track, which may not pay property taxes themselves, but they do sell quite a few sales taxeable items.
Plus they just got the lion's share of the property in a new commercial development and still have a whole bunch of undeveloped land to turn into residential and commercial property.
So maybe they just do the speed trap stuff for reputation only now.