Central Texas cities tell truckers: 'out of the way'

| 7/26/2002

Four Central Texas cities are uniting to keep big rigs out of the far left lane on I-35. A 1997 state law gives cities the authority to set such a ban.

The plan would make Austin, Georgetown, Round Rock and San Marcos the first cities in Central Texas to restrict interstate lanes, which city leaders and state transportation officials say would sharply decrease the number of wrecks and ease congestion along the frequently gridlocked highway. Houston is the only other Texas town at this point to limit freeway lanes.

The rules, which could take effect in May 2003, would cover about 60 miles of freeway between San Marcos and Georgetown. Because the law only addresses highways with at least three lanes in each direction, San Marcos will not officially join the coalition until its stretch of I-35 is widened later next year.

Tentative plans would permit truckers to use the interstate's far left lane for passing only. Fines for breaking the law have not been determined.