The 10 Worst Roads in Houston (Right Now)

Categories: Traffic

5. South Shepherd between West Gray and US 59

Much like other roads in the area, South Shepherd is extremely busy making it nearly impossible to shut down and repair well. It would also be difficult to expand it and widen the lanes thanks to businesses and the affluent River Oaks neighborhood along its path. But, it is still one of the quicker north-south routes between US 59 and Memorial. At some point, the city needs to bite the bullet and make traffic worse so it can eventually get better.

4. Westheimer between Spur 527 and Shepherd

It's bad enough that this stretch of Westheimer has such narrow lanes. Between Taft and Montrose, you may as well consider this a two-lane road despite the painted white lines to the contrary. But, toss in a bumpy ride courtesy of a mess of a road and you have a recipe for side swipes. It is difficult to imagine shutting down Westheimer to repair this mess, but they are managing to do that to the section just west of Shepherd, so hope springs.

3. Greenbriar Drive between University Boulevard and Holcombe Boulevard

It's ironic that in such an affluent part of town there would be a road so hideous that most drive below posted speed limits. This rather short (thankfully) stretch of pavement near Rice University has fault lines and poorly-filled potholes covering it while neighborhood streets that cross it sit pristine and even.


2. Cullen Boulevard between Elgin Street and Wheeler Avenue

Better known as the University of Houston, it is a joke that the primary artery traversing our city's biggest college looks like the beaches of Normandy after allied forces landed on D-Day. Other streets in the area are awful as well, but nothing compares to this damaged and neglected stretch of road. Fortunately, with the light rail going in soon near the north end of campus, people can avoid Cullen altogether.

1. Richmond Avenue

Recently, Senator John Cornyn, a staunch opponent of all things light rail, met with supporters at high-end restaurant Tony's in Greenway Plaza to declare light rail on Richmond dead. One of the plans had been to run a line down Richmond Avenue through Greenway Plaza and over to the Galleria. Area businesses and residents balked, but it is hard to understand why anyone would block the chance of fixing what is the most God-forsaken road in the entire city. I tried to narrow it down to a stretch, but the fact is, Richmond is a hideous, pothole-infested disaster area from Main Street to the Beltway. In fact, if you went farther east after it becomes Wheeler, you could start a whole new section. Why this mostly four-lane road hasn't been extensively repaired is beyond me, but it certainly qualifies as the worst in town.

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66 comments
Venessa Singh
Venessa Singh

290 from the hours of 6am-9am and 45 from the hours of 4:30pm-7pm

Tish Squish
Tish Squish

I drive down Richmond & Alabama daily between Galleria and downtown. Richmond blows so hard we should give it a hurricane name.

Kevin Lacobie
Kevin Lacobie

"It's ironic that in such an affluent part of town there would be a road so hideous...". Ironic, or strategic? Some neighborhoods lobby to not have the roads smoothed over, to prevent speeders.

Noelle Tijerina
Noelle Tijerina

Westchase area. Kirkwood is pure shit from Westheimer to I-10, as well as the other roads that run parallel to it >> Wilcrest, Dairy Ashford. I wouldn't even call them roads anymore

Jace Anthony Manick
Jace Anthony Manick

Man. They *really* need to fix up Almeda Genoa sometime this century. Maybe thats just me though.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Is there a specific reason the city uses incompatible materials to fill potholes? Why do they use asphalt to repair concrete? You don't have to be a engineer to know that is a horrible idea.

Erich Brehm Jr.
Erich Brehm Jr.

How about we eliminate all over passes that merge at the apex? Zach Daigle Dustin Johnston Vinh Nguyen

Laurie Curtis
Laurie Curtis

Well there's more than just one.. Maybe Fannin

Melinda Hooker Metz
Melinda Hooker Metz

For the love of God... Greenbriar and the right lane on Fannin between 610 and OST.

Xavier Balderas
Xavier Balderas

mainstream roads, you're forgetting about the roads used by the working class much worst than these. So don't use the term "worst roads in Houston" ...instead, worst heavily trafficked roads in the H.

Reg Burns
Reg Burns

Gotta agree with most of these.

Hector Rodriguez
Hector Rodriguez

The Greenbriar street definitely fits in this list. That stretch heading toward Holcombe is a rollercoaster. I've seen some of the patch work that they've done, but it never holds.

vmb6110
vmb6110

re: #1 Richmond, pretty sure it was Rep. John Culberson who gloated about killing light rail on Richmond while at a Tony's fundraiser. Not Sen. John Cornyn

lhntx00
lhntx00

Stanford between Westheimer and W. Gray is pretty hideous as well.  Some blocks have ditches deep enough to swallow your car with caving in edges that pull you toward the ditch, some blocks have curbs, some blocks have no curbs.  Parking along the sides at the Fairview intersection make it nearly impossible to get through at times (good luck for a fire truck!). Add to that all of the sewer and water line work, cutouts in the street for new construction utilities, and inconsistent street width by block.  But, using Stanford instead of Montrose to go north-south is still better than the constantly traffic clogged Montrose.


Most of the lower Westheimer Rd. damage is caused by using asphalt instead of cement, so the buses that stop and start slowly push the asphalt up and out, the same goes for W. Gray.  Driving down either street is a mini roller coaster ride, especially in the right hand lane used by the buses.


The scary thing is that traffic in the area is getting worse and worse due to all of the new multi-story housing going in on nearly every major street, so the conditions will only deteriorate even more over time.  Most of the east-west streets (W. Dallas, W. Gray, Fairview,  Westheimer, W. Alabama, Richmond) were all originally 2 lane residential streets, and were never intended to handle so much traffic.  The north- souths (Shepherd, Dunlavy (ugh!) , Commonwealth / Waugh, Montrose, Taft are a little better able to handle it, but not by much.  

pfb7
pfb7

Of course 5 of the 10 are in/surround "Montrose"

Mayling Tate
Mayling Tate

I can't believe this list was narrowed down to just 10 when the majority of the roads in Houston are so bad!!

Danielle Stephens
Danielle Stephens

I can't believe Bissonnet between Weslayan and Kirby wasn't mentioned. It's awful!

kswords
kswords

Definitely Kirkwood between Westheimer and Memorial!!! One part on the Northbound side has like a 2 ft height difference between the 2 lanes... And that says nothing of the endless pot holes to go with it... It's insane!!!

Puller58
Puller58 topcommenter

Driving on a bad road or dodging contruction?  I'll take another route.

Wesley Burnham
Wesley Burnham

Then so many of the backroads in and around the Hobby Airport area deserve mention. If you like to drive expediently as I do, then you learn to appreciate the idea of the slalom freestyle.

nope
nope

You can't even go the speed limit on some of streets mentioned without flying off the bumps.  Also 6+5+4+3+1 encompasses a pretty significant area and possibly the nicest part of town.


Houston:  Because if you don't drive a pickup then pretty much f**k you. 

Jeff Balke
Jeff Balke

Hempstead was just repaved. It is like driving on a cloud now. Seriously,

Jeff Balke
Jeff Balke

Still in flux. Cornyn blocked federal funding, but there are other options.

Jeff Balke
Jeff Balke

Holcombe turns into Bellaire and that is where it is at its absolute worst.

Jeff Balke
Jeff Balke

Mainly I was talking about the quality of the road not the horrible traffic, which is something out of Dante's Inferno.

big.red.guy
big.red.guy

Have you tried driving down Broadway from the Gulf Freeway to Hobby Airport? You can't drive the speed limit and still have all the fillings in your teeth that you started with.

charlierock62
charlierock62

To hell with the streets. In my neighborhood (Richmond at Woodhead area),they are repaving all the sidewalks,while the streets remain crap. I feel like i'm driving on country roads sometimes.


Hello Mayor,please do something.

WhiteLightning
WhiteLightning topcommenter

Good one. And this doesn't speak to smaller streets. For instance, parallel to the stretch of Westheimer mentioned, side streets between Westheimer and Alabama resemble roads in rural India. Hawthore between Montrose and Dunlavy is criminally neglected, but it's not the only one. Speak up, Mayor, we can't hear you.

yacketycat
yacketycat

C'mon, give them some credit - they finally fixed three especially treacherous potholes on Westheimer and it only took them like six years (and two busted tires for me).

Guillermo Thomas
Guillermo Thomas

no hempstead? I call bullshit. that's practically the edward james olmos parkway

BobbyFreshpants
BobbyFreshpants

3rd world countries have better streets then Houston. 

I am sure it has something to do with the soil, all the bayous etc but seriously. We should get refunds from the city every time we have to fix something in our cars. 


BiscuitsAhoy
BiscuitsAhoy

@kswords Kirkwood, Dairy Ashford, and Wilcrest are all equally terrible between Westheimer and Memorial.  Though they are trying to do some work on Dairy Ashford thankfully because it felt like you were driving on the moon.

jeffbalke
jeffbalke

Hempstead Highway was recently repaved. It is like driving on a cloud now.

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