The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

9 December 2004

Early-morning slalom

The ramp from I-44 eastbound to I-35 southbound is a fairly sharp 90-degree curve, followed by one of Oklahoma's infamous too-short-by-half merging lanes, and since it's all elevated — but not at the same height, which means one heck of a blind spot — the payback for not executing the merge properly is serious.

I've tackled this ramp maybe three hundred times, and under favorable conditions (which is to say "when it's dry") it's no particular trick, at least in my car, to maintain 60-mph speed from 44 all the way around the swoop and merge seamlessly into the southbound 35 traffic flow. Unfortunately, two members of the Anti-Destination League, puttering along at 48 mph or so, picked this moment to be occupying the space I'd normally be assuming post-merge. And it wasn't like their progress, if that's the word, was being thwarted by some rolling speed bump up ahead; there was at least a 1500-foot gap in front of them.

The solution was simple enough — downshift to second, spin up to 6200 rpm, and zoom-zoom into the gap — but I have to admit that this is not my favorite maneuver during pre-dawn darkness.

Posted at 7:29 AM to Driver's Seat


I used to run that stretch of road for years heading from NW OKC to Tinker. What infuriated me was that that entrance ramp looked like it would be a third lane and then folks would swerve over at the last minute. I switched to Hefner Parkway-I40 E route and have cut 7 minutes from my commute.

It wasn't the traffic, it was the 3 highway changes that slowed me down.

Posted by: Dwayne "the canoe guy" at 11:50 AM on 9 December 2004