Graphic: Scott Latham

The boys are back in town, the boys are back in town. Only this ain’t Thin Lizzy we’re talking about. It’s the boys in brown.

Highway patrol is working hard to keep the lightly used Chisholm Trail Parkway safe, and that’s a good thing, right? The toll road that runs from Fort Worth to Cleburne has four speed changes in the several miles that run through the Fort, dropping at apparently random spots from 70 to 65, to 60, and finally 55. A driver not expecting the changes wouldn’t anticipate them because the road opens up to a wide three lanes in each direction over the same span. 

That’s where the highway patrol comes in, hiding along the road, generally one car in each direction, right near those speed changes, and while you’re wondering whether you actually saw a new speed sign, they’re already on your back, lights flashing. There is more than one way to collect tolls and skin cats.

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They were so aggressive when the road first opened in 2014 that we gave them a Turkey Award, after which –– coincidentally or not –– they vanished for what seemed like a couple of years. But the last three or four months have regular parkway travelers scratching their heads over the reappearance and near-daily presence of the boys in brown.

“I don’t even like taking that road now,” said Mike, who doesn’t want his full name used to protect his privacy and whose job involves traveling from Fort Worth to Cleburne sometimes several times a day. “They’re just waiting for you.”

Based on a quick records search, there have not been many accidents on the parkway. Credit the highway patrol for those low numbers? No doubt that’s the company line, but we’re not buying it. All our money’s going to traffic court.