Expertise A Drive On Oklahoma’s Lawless Autobahn Freeway

There’s a working joke that Oklahoma drivers take issues a bit on the sluggish facet. Whereas it might be true in most elements of the state, there’s one stretch of freeway that far exceeds any thought of protected or accountable journey. It’s thought-about Oklahoma’s lawless Autobahn freeway.

Should you’re from the Lawton space, you in all probability clicked on this already assuming that I am speaking in regards to the stretch of US-62/Rogers Lane that runs between Fort Sill and Lawton. It is a robust transition to go from a 75MPH turnpike onto a 50MPH semi-smooth bleak continuation of the freeway, however the “Rogerbahn” as everybody calls it is not the Oklahoma Autobahn…

Certain, site visitors does circulation at excessive speeds on Rogers Lane at instances, and the handful of unhealthy accidents annually reminds us how harmful it’s, however there’s one other highway that makes Rogers Lane appear to be a leisurely cruise by Elmer Thomas Park. I am speaking about I-44 between OKC and Tulsa.

My household deliberate a visit to Florida for the week of Thanksgiving, and since I am the one one that does not stay in Northeast Oklahoma, I am all the time compelled to journey to them so we are able to all fly out of Tulsa. The turnpike from OKC to Tulsa just isn’t for the faint of coronary heart.

Look, children, nothing!

On most lengthy stretches of un-scenic freeway throughout the state, site visitors sometimes flows a bit sooner since there’s nothing between level A and level B.

Examples: I-44 from Lawton to Wichita Falls. US-62 between Lawton and Altus. I-40 from Shawnee to Arkansas. US-270 between El Reno and Hooker… Completely nothing to take a look at. Simply desolate blacktop and concrete surrounded by large expanses of grass. I-44 between OKC and Tulsa is simply the identical, for essentially the most half.

Whereas there are a handful of exits on OK’s Northeast I-44 hall, the insanity begins the second you enter the turnpike at I-35 and it does not subside till you hit the I-244/Gilcrease Loop round Tulsa. These 87-ish miles are a free-for-all.

The nation drives by Oklahoma.

It was round twilight, virtually darkish after I hopped on I-44 out of OKC a number of Fridays in the past. I used to be immediately surrounded by site visitors leaving OKC for the weekend and the hoard of truck-traffic shifting items all around the nation. I do not suppose anybody realizes how a lot of America’s stuff comes by the Sooner State.

If you have not been on this stretch of highway, the velocity restrict is 75MPH many of the means, but it surely varies tremendously between 55MPH and 95MPH all on the identical time. As there are solely two lanes, you may think about how the site visitors backs up for a mile or two after which disappears fully within the subsequent mile or two. It is actually fairly loopy to expertise.

I ended up in the midst of a twelve-bus tour stuffed with Canadians exploring the US. Large seat-filled RVs swinging out and in of sluggish and quick site visitors as in the event that they had been sports activities automobiles or crotch-rockets. Semi-trucks drive the identical means.

Simply in regards to the time you activate the cruise management, you are again on the brakes and beginning to brace for the worst because the wolfpack of strangers you are touring with pull up behind some yokel choosing a swift 58MPH and by some means passing somebody driving even slower. Instantly as they get out of the best way, site visitors is again as much as 95MPH once more.

Duck… Duck… Duck… Duck… Goose!

For 87-ish miles of fixed velocity up/decelerate bi-polar driving, not a single legislation enforcement officer to be discovered. Not a single blue or purple mild. Not even a single cruiser set off the freeway as a rushing deterrent. Simply scorching nasty velocity and dozens of shut calls weaving out and in of slower drivers your entire means.

There’s a small little bit of reprieve close to the midway level, a McDonald’s and a gasoline station that serves as a relaxation cease. Even in case you’re not hungry, it is an awesome place to take a breath and let the blood circulation again into your knuckles earlier than hopping again into the insanity.

As you get nearer to Tulsa, I-44 opens up right into a six-lane freeway. I am pretty positive the velocity restrict will increase to 80MPH right here, however everybody cruises 55MPH to 95MPH as regular, however solely within the quick and center lanes for some unknown motive. The “sluggish” right-hand lane casually empty away from the dim LED streetlights.

The stench of survival.

It isn’t till you scent the candy and pungent refinery that site visitors begins to interrupt off into separate instructions. Some head East, others go downtown, and most proceed up I-44 seeking to make their means by Tulsa’s awful freeway system of unreadable site visitors indicators and unrelenting building detours.

Whereas most individuals in Lawton will proceed speaking about how harmful our native Rogerbahn is in the course of the -cough-cough- “Lawton rush half-hour,” I-44 will chug alongside being the scariest drive within the Sooner State.

If you understand, you understand. Should you do not, plan a visit to expertise it. It is exhilarating to beat in case you make it in any respect.

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