The 10 Worst Places to Be Caught in Houston

Categories: Top 10

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Photo by Heather Vidrine
Critical Mass can clog up a street quick.
No one wants to be stuck anywhere. Sitting in a waiting room at the doctor's office. Standing in line to buy tickets for a movie. Waiting behind an elderly woman at the grocery story who insists on paying with a check. These daily frustrations can increase stress and generally piss people off. Houston shares these same tension builders with other cities, but we have a few things that are fairly unique to us.

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10. The downtown light rail line during the rodeo (or on Sundays during football season).

The light rail, despite all the debate and votes and lawsuits, has been wildly successful. And as it expands, there is no reason to think it won't continue to be an asset to a traffic-clogged city like Houston. But there are certain times the downtown section of the rail should be avoided like grim death, in particular during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and football season, unless of course you want to learn what a sardine feels like when packed into a tin can.


9. Washington Avenue after 10 p.m. on Friday or Saturday.

Not only are the denizens of this somewhat fading barhop scene spending much of their weekend nights drinking, but with very few transportation options to get to and from Washington Avenue (the jitney might get you up and down the street, but it won't take you home), many of these folks end up on the road making crossing this busy street hazardous. Avoid at all costs or challenge at your own risk.


8. Behind a Critical Mass bike ride.

The popular cycling organization that holds nighttime rides is fascinating, but also brutally slow. It's akin to being stuck behind a parade of octogenarians. To make matters worse, there can literally be several hundred riders stretching out over a mile or two, making the wait longer and more frustrating. If you come across one of these rides, do yourself a favor and turn around to find another route home.

This story continues on the next page.


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36 comments
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Re #1:  How do you tell when the traffic from one rush hour stops and the next one begins?

a7385414
a7385414

Yea, no shit.  What a dumb article.

Ryan Bradley Heine
Ryan Bradley Heine

Bradford, again what you've offered has nothing to do with my point and objection. To take cheap shots in a seemingly politically neutral article is childish. But of course he has every right to do so and I don't have to subscribe. But I'd say the same thing if msnbc's crappy ratings were mentioned in a article about a new restaurant opening. And by the way "Bradforlina", show a little respect and offer a substantive response.... Oh I see that your profile pic is of a burning American flag. How patriotic...

Bradford Ashington
Bradford Ashington

The entire Houston MSA is just one giant cesspool. Avoid it at all costs unless absolutely necessary to be there.

Ryan Bradley Heine
Ryan Bradley Heine

Noelle, that's his obvious opinion based on the fact that he stated it. So you are adding nothing new to the dialogue. It's fine to have that opinion, but to have it bleed over into a completely unpolitical story is just lazy and whiny.

Noelle A. Perry
Noelle A. Perry

...because conservative talk radio is, in fact, infuriating?

Jacob Bocanegra
Jacob Bocanegra

don't forget any walmart at midnight on the first of the month...

Bert Duplessis
Bert Duplessis

You forgot one: anywhere near Memorial Park on the Friday the Rodeo Trail riders hit town. Unless you want to be there...

John Cee
John Cee

I-10 Blues during floods, then there's always rush hour.

Matthew Noon Aya
Matthew Noon Aya

Bingo on that Dacoma DPS. Its the worst place in the world.

Ryan Bradley Heine
Ryan Bradley Heine

Why did the article contain a wholly unrelated dig at conservative talk radio. Oh that's right, you just can't help yourself.

whatever
whatever

You realize that Critical Mass had about 2,500 riders in June, right? This isn't waiting for a few hundred riders- it's an extra 45 minutes added to my normally 15-minute Friday commute home. All while the city allows them a 20 mile parade without a permit and the cops stand by and watch.

melbent
melbent

Most of the time it is not good to stand in line. But there are places managed by Houstonians where nobody stands in line. http://ow.ly/yJCgC

Kyle Jack
Kyle Jack

Critical Mass is great fun to be around... just hop on a bike!

Tricia Moore Minor
Tricia Moore Minor

I accidentally happened upon the solution to getting in and out of the Dacoma DPS in a reasonable amount of time: arrive 10 minutes before they close. Apparently, they are not allowed to lock the door until the posted closing time and once you are in they have to service you. At closing time, suddenly people appear out of nowhere. Every lane is opened, they want to get you out and get themselves home. I tried this at the social security office on Alabama and had the same experience. Maybe if everyone starts showing up 10 minutes before close it will encourage them to give better service throughout the day.

valkyre420
valkyre420

If the Critical Mass bike riders would obey the traffic laws, lights and stop signs, it wouldn't be so bad.

Cory Cousins
Cory Cousins

I disagree about waiting in line at Breakfast Klub. It's well worth the wait and it's not THAT long.

Ryan Hernandez
Ryan Hernandez

#5 Grew up down the street from this 7th circle of hell and it never fails to completely destroy your day.

JokerUT
JokerUT

I visited the DPS office on Dacoma in early February and had no problems. They've streamlined their process and it was very efficient, It took maybe 15 minutes to renew.  Kudos to them!

Danielle Stephens
Danielle Stephens

I have to agree - that DPS on Dacoma is the worst! Especially when you need to combine with a visit to the Social Security office next door.

jberlat1
jberlat1

We all need to be in rush hour if we have jobs. 

jberlat1
jberlat1

The light rail will never keep cars off the road. It is a limited system that isn't going into congested areas. East side isn't exactly a traffic nightmare. How will it keep traffic low in the Galleria area or anything outside 3 miles of downtown? it will never go down Westheimer or anywhere with houses on the main road. We don't have enough people to make it viable. There aren't many people that live North of I-10 and if you live in the Med Center, the only place to go is Downtown. Great if you  live and work in the med center, but it won't take hundreds of cars off the roads. From the people I see on the light rail, most probably don't even have cars. Park and Ride is much more effective and cheaper than laying down permanent rail lines. Buses are more flexible on routes and hold just as many people and are millions of dollars cheaper. 

Bobby Land
Bobby Land

Greenspoint area or Gunspoint mall

e6atusaf
e6atusaf

I certainly know what it is like to be in a driver license office at closing time and yes if you are inside when they lock the doors you will get seen before they can go home to their families like you want to do.  Yes I have been there, but  from the other side of the counter looking out over the sea of humanity that flows into the office just before closing time. I never had the pleasure to work at the Dacoma office but I did in Texas City, Galveston, Both the old and the new Baytown offices, Alvin, Webster, Cleveland, Huntsville, Conroe, Paris, McKinney and probably a few others I can't remember. 14 years worth of driver license offices and in each one the people that came into the offices were the same.  In a hurry, agitated because there was something wrong with their license that "they" caused but the poor lady behind the counter was at fault, or mad at someone else and taking it out on the DPS employee.  Over the years the main reason people came in just before closing time was because they were too busy doing something else that they wanted to do instead of taking care of something they had to do. Now you don't need a driver license but it sure helps to get around doesn't it? Maybe you should take some time one day and go into an office just to watch what is going on.. In my time I have seen everything from a lady talking on a cell phone that she didn't have to someone who wasn't there, to people being taken by troopers to go pay a ticket at a JP court they forgot about and brought back to the office, put at the head of the line by the trooper (want to argue with him/her?) and allowed to complete there transaction, to myself tackling a fleeing individual wanted for parole violation on an aggravated sexual assault of a child conviction. And I was not a Trooper. I was an Examiner.  You know the crazy that gets in the car with people taking their driving tests?  Yes a driver license office is not a good place to be. But the next time you get the privilege to visit one think of the person on the other side of the counter that has to put up with the public all day and ask yourself if you could do that...  You should go and shake their hands and say thank you rather than being so critical of them.




rachel.e.mckernan
rachel.e.mckernan

If they followed the rules of the road (like bikes are supposed to) there would be absolutely nothing wrong with it. There are places where critical mass like masses of bikes are in cities they just don't bound through lights and hit the hoods of cars... Bikes are technically cars in the eyes of the law. Bikers and car riders should know this better here.

HTownChowDown
HTownChowDown

@valkyre420 I like the concept behind Critical Mass. The current crop massholes I can do without. These folks do more to harm the cause of Houston cyclists than help it.

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

@jberlat1 Our light rail system has one of the highest ridership per mile of any in the country. It's useful and well-used. 

charlierock62
charlierock62

@Kylejack @jberlat1  Light rail will not be useful intil it reaches out more. Out 59 south and I-10. Right now it's kind of a joke. Looks cool though.

It has the highest ridership because it only travels about 14 miles. It's all relative.

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