It’s the most talked about intersection in the Lake Travis area.
There are three times of the day this intersection is best to avoid — morning, afternoon, and evening. Or in other words, you could say it’s best to avoid this intersection altogether. If you’re living along the 620 corridor and you have to get north or west, you don’t have a choice.
For anyone that has the pleasure of this intersection being a part of their daily slog, you start to take notice of the other drivers. Starting at about 7:00 am during weekdays is when traffic starts to build. Cars and trucks coming out of Bee Cave and Lakeway join together as they make their way past Steiner Ranch and begin to jockey for position.
Many types of drivers emerge as we all work our way up to the most loved intersection in the Lake Travis area — 620 and 2222.
1) The Expert Left-Laner (going right)
The left lane is almost always moving faster until you reach BBQ Outfitters. And that’s when the Expert Left-Laner will start to setup for the move, getting as far as possible before switching lanes and shaving valuable minutes as they maneuver into the right turn lane.
As an Expert Left-Laner, you’re relying on a slow truck or someone that leaves just enough space to sneak in before it’s too late. This move makes the driver that has been creeping along in the right lane (Right-Lane Blocker) get really mad as they signal their frustration by throwing their hands up in the air.
2) The Wannabe Expert Left-Laner (going right)
A Wannabe Expert Left-Laner is easy to spot. They wait too long to make the move and end up coming to a complete stop in the left lane with their right turn signal on. At some point, a Texas friendly-driver will let the wannabe in. If this happens to you, just be sure and give them a Texas friendly thank-you wave.
3) The Right-Lane Blocker
This driver gets in the right lane early and will hold their ground while staying as close as possible to the car in front of them. Your job as a Right-Lane Blocker is to make sure the left-laner doesn’t sneak in. This effort is usually thwarted by the inevitable drivers who could care less about letting a left-laner in or the slow-to-start cement truck.
If you find that being a Right-Lane Blocker is infuriating, you might want to become a left-laner. Just remember, we need a good balance of left-laners and right-laners to make this all work.
4) The Shoulderer
Sightings of this driver decreased after improvements came that added a double right turn lane onto 2222 and extension back to Wells Fargo — and our friendly police officers showing up every now and then to hand out tickets for driving on the shoulder. But some of you may remember that the shoulder was just another lane back in the day.
So every now and then, you get a rare sighting of The Shoulderer — a person unaware (or just doesn’t care) zooming along on the shoulder like it’s nobody’s business. Usually several others join in. Things get a little dicey when The Shoulderer approaches the right turn lanes on the other side of Wells Fargo and try to merge with the cars that did it the legal way.
5) The Comanche
You may prefer to bypass the 620 and 2222 intersection altogether and take Comanche Trail towards the Oasis. The move can pay off, especially if you’re taking the back way to head all the way up to 620 and Anderson Mill Road. There is a right and a wrong time to Go Comanche and I can’t give away any secrets that will upset the Comanche Tribe. You’ll have to try and master this one on your own.
More Drivers For The Ride Home
All of those vehicles that turned right onto 2222 in the morning have to come back home and that starts at about 4:00 pm. Traffic begins to build as you crest Tumbleweed Hill — and sometimes well before that — as cars once again jockey for position. Here you have to make a choice to hang tight in the left lane. Or go as far as you can in the right lane before it’s too late and you’re stuck in the right turn lane and forced to go the wrong way (unless you happen to be going that way).
6) The Sneaky Right-Laner (going left)
There’s a real art to anticipating how long you can make it in the right lane before making your move to turn left back onto 620. You know you have the move perfected when you can speed along in the right lane (pretending that you’ll be turning right) as most cars start to move over to the left lane early and slow as they approach the light.
Your timing is perfect when the left turn light goes green and traffic begins to move and loosen up. And there’s your opening! You find your way to squeeze in just before getting stuck in the right turn lane and don’t have to wait an extra second as you’re turning left onto 620 and heading home.
It’s a risky move with big rewards. Pull it off and you’re home for dinner early! Fail and you’re stuck turning right onto 620 and heading in the wrong direction — you might as well stop at Rudy’s to grab some dinner because you won’t be able to turn around anytime soon.
7) The Walgreener
You’re patiently waiting in the far left turn lane on 2222 to hop onto 620 going towards Lakeway. The light finally turns green and as traffic begins to roll, the car in front of you stops so they can make the left turn into Walgreens. It’s one of the more pleasing moves during the busy commute home.
The Walgreener scores the most points when the steady flow of traffic going west on 2222 prevents them from making the illegal turn and cars behind them have to sit and wait an entire light cycle.
You can become a Master Walgreener, but only when you can time your turn without holding up any of the cars behind you.
8) The H-E-Ber’s
There are two types of H-E-Ber’s.
The more popular H-E-Ber is trying to enter 2222 during rush hour from the exit on the gas station side. It’s nearly impossible to get out, so they pull out into the small space between two stopped vehicles waiting to turn but can’t quite fit in without blocking the vehicles that were moving along in right lane. Most Texas friendly-drivers seem to tolerate The H-E-Ber — as long as they are driving a huge SUV.
A rare sighting and one that will test your Texas friendly-driving manners is the westward bound Four-Deucer turning left into H-E-B at the right-turn only entrance on the gas station side. Your best chance of spotting this driver is during peak traffic hours.
9) The Lefty H-E-Ber and B-of-Aer
The Lefty H-E-Ber and B-of-Aer (Bank of America customer) get to share the number 9 spot. They both exit onto 2222 with an illegal left hand turn that will usually block all three lanes of traffic as they wait for an opening to go west on 2222. These drivers are elusive and you should consider yourself lucky to see one. They will leave you in a state of awe sitting at a green light with nowhere to go. Try to smile and give them a Texas friendly-driver wave.
I know there are more out there, so feel free to add yours by joining the conversation over on our Facebook page.