“It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?”

That’s what the familiar face said to me and Brian Ligon, our ace multimedia specialist, as we were filming the latest Street Cred. We were at the corner of Wyoming Springs and the new Creek Bend Boulevard extension. I recognized the driver because she was a crossing guard at Cactus Ranch Elementary and Walsh Middle School for the six years my sons attended those schools.

And I knew exactly what she was talking about. Oh, the exquisite relief this little half-mile stretch of four lanes provides to folks on the west side.

Those who live west of IH 35 and north of Sam Bass Road have had limited options to access RM 620 — home to an H-E-B, Round Rock High, a hospital, doctor’s offices, etc. As we note in the Street Cred piece, if you live in Behren’s Ranch, Wood Glen, the Plantation, The Woods, Hidden Glen, Bent Tree, The Hermitage or Mira Vista, you’ve had to drive a ways, a mile or two or more, to get to Chisholm Trail or IH 35 to get south. And oh the joy that awaits you on IH 35 sound bound there. Or, you can take that funky zig zag route through the Great Oaks and Fern Bluff neighborhoods to get to RM 620.

It gets old. Real old. But no more.

I had my own special Creek Bend moment a couple of hours later. I was at Sunrise and Old Settlers Boulevard, and needed to get home, in the Oak Creek neighborhood (near St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center). Instead of taking the interstate to RM 620 and then getting to experience the joy of Round Rock High School letting out around 4:30, I simply drove over IH 35 and continued west on FM 3406 (which TxDOT recently finished improving — thanks, guys!), hung a left at Creek Bend (I even made the green light!) crossed over lovely (but expensive to build bridges over) Brushy Creek and was home in a snap. It felt like I saved at least 10 minutes in driving time.

It was, indeed, a beautiful day.