Leading Off (12/16/13)

New tolls, highway land for sale, fake cops, and puppy problems.

New Tolls on LBJ Freeway Open. More than 240,000 vehicles are on LBJ daily. Now those drivers will be contending with a new toll structure on the 3.2-mile stretch between Preston Road and Greenville Avenue. And they’ll pay for it. Depending on the time of day and traffic level, the price to use certain lanes will rise or fall. For now, it won’t cost more than $.95 to drive that section, but down the line, there won’t be a ceiling in place. In Virginia’s Fairfax County, an area with a similar system, drivers have paid nearly $10 to drive 14 miles.

Two Men Scoop Up Land Next to I-35E, Sell It to the City For a Pretty Penny. Business partners Kevin Bollman and Wade Blackburn are in the real estate business. More specifically, they’ve been buying land in areas where Texas is looking to widen I-35E. Then, when the state comes calling, they sell. For, what we can assume, is a nice profit. They’ve been open about their method, too: use public information about the expansion project and buy along the highway corridor. Over five months in 2011, Denton County doled out more than $22 million to the duo. Over four months in 2012, the state paid for another four acres along Riverfront Boulevard in Dallas County, but records don’t communicate the price. As perhaps could be expected, folks are calling foul.

Another Woman Pulled Over By a Fake Cop. A woman driving in Denton at 2:30 a.m. Friday saw flashing lights in her rearview mirror and pulled over. While she was getting her license and registration, the fake police officer tried to assault her. So what are you supposed to do when someone pulls you over at 2:30 in the morning? One of the tips listed in the article says to make sure the vehicle is properly marked as a police car. But how can you do that? End of story: This is one of my worst nightmares. If people have tips beyond the obvious stay off the road always, I’d love to hear them.

Dog Debate Brewing in Plano. Whether pups can accompany their owners on patios in Plano is up for discussion, with a vote coming as soon as Tuesday. Allowing dogs to dine (or sit while their owners dine) al fresco is common practice in Dallas and other cities across the country. But when the Katy Trail Ice House Outpost opened this summer, that part of their patio mission got rejected. Plano Mayor Harry LaRosilliere called the opinionated “very passionate” on both sides of the argument.



  • DelkusSleeves

    They say you can call 911 to verify the person pulling you over has called dispatch to let them know they are pulling you over. You are supposed to keep driving while doing this. I question how happy a real cop is going to be waiting for you to pull over while you figure out if its a real cop doing the stop.

  • Bintexas

    Advice was once given to slow down and lead the officer to a well lit public place,or police station, if in doubt of the authenticity of the officer. Do that now and you will find yourself the prey in a police chase. I was once the victim of the dreaded blue light in a construction zone with no shoulder. When I did get to a safe place 200 yards away, the irate officer told me she was thisclose to calling for backup.

  • Bethany

    Call 911 to confirm while driving to a well lit, busy spot. Even if you got a cop that wanted to be a jerk about that, a call the next day to a supervising officer will clear all that up in a hurry.

    • AmyS

      Yes, 911 calls are recorded, and can be used as a defense if you state your intent to pull over. Police are dads and husbands too.

  • AmyS

    Several of these large, internationally funded toll projects around the country have gone bankrupt, including the one in Austin. It seems that actual income fell short of projections. Story of every business failure, ever.

    What escapes my understanding is why would anyone what to drive on a road that is going to charge you MORE the slower it goes?

  • guestoftheRegime

    Call 911, then lead the officer to a well-lit area where he can shoot you instead of passerby.

  • Dubious Brother

    The I-35 Chinatown real estate scheme. Who were the original sellers?