Saturday, 10 December, 2005
Debra and I drove to Dallas this morning for a friend's wedding. On the way we passed three outlet malls--stores where manufacturers sell their wares directly to the public rather than going through normal retailers. One of the outlet malls is still under construction just north of Round Rock. One was in Hillsboro, and the other in, I think, McKinney.
What I found odd is that these malls are on the outskirts of major urban areas. My understanding of the whole outlet mall concept was that the outlet stores would be far enough away from large cities so as to be at least somewhat inconvenient for shoppers to get there. That way, retailers wouldn't be quite as upset by the manufacturers selling their goods direct. I wonder what changed.
Leaving the area this evening, I elected to take the toll road so I could avoid most of downtown Dallas. I pulled up to the toll booth, tossed my 40 cents into the hopper, and waited for the light to turn green. It didn't. So I backed up and threw another 50 cents into the hopper. Still no light. I didn't know what to do. A very prominent sign says, "Warning: Stay in Vehicle," and the toll booth person three lanes away was busy doing other things. So I just drove on through the red light. Alarm bells went off and lights flashed, but I just kept on going.
I wonder what the penalty is for running the toll booth. They undoubtedly have my license plate number, and if they were real interested in stopping me they could have caught me at the next tool booth where I dutifully paid my 75 cents to get off the toll way. I guess I'll see if I get a nastygram in the mail.
I'd appreciate it if somebody who is more familiar with toll way etiquette would tell me what I should have done in that situation.