Houston's 10 Most Treacherous Freeway Entrance Ramps
When discussing Houston traffic, it is unfair to compare the city with more compact places around the country. We are spread out, more like LA than Chicago. That means freeways and lots of them.
Google Maps They are kidding with that stop light, right?
Unlike places in the northeast, the vast majority of these multi-lane deathtraps are not toll roads;meaning lots of places to get on and off, but not always with ease. In fact, there are some entrance ramps to freeways around Houston so complicated and dangerous, it's a wonder they were built in the first place. The problem is worse when those entering the freeway decide to do so like they were driving through a school zone.
In order to determine the worst, I narrowed it down by excluding freeway-to-freeway interchanges. Those offer their own brand of hell. I also eliminated exit ramps. Most of us are just thrilled to be getting off the freeway in the first place, and getting on means accelerating at a sometimes breakneck speed. If you think we've missed any, please let us know in the comments.
10. I-45 northbound from El Dorado
The Clear Lake "narrows," as I've written about before, offers its own special brand of traffic torture, but the real danger her lies in getting on the freeway. Really, you could take your pick between Bay Area Boulevard or El Dorado. The entrance ramps for both are awful as one lane serves for both getting on and off the freeway, a special nuance found at many exits around town.
9. I-10 westbound and eastbound from Taylor (tie)
Any freeway entrance that incorporates an incline is probably asking for trouble, especially in a mountain-challenged city like Houston. Both entrances are pitched slopes into the mess that is I-10. On the eastbound side you have the added bonus of navigating the I-45/I-10 interchange.
8. US 59 southbound from Weslayan
Yet another exit/entrance combo, this spot has the added benefit of being just south of one of the busiest freeway interchanges in the city at 610 and 59. Trying to avoid hitting people exiting at Newcastle -- thinking they can avoid Galleria traffic when they are really just plunging themselves deeper into it -- is difficult enough. Trying to weave across three lanes of freeway to get to 59's southbound lanes is a fool's errand. Suck it up and get on the Westpark Tollway.
7. 610 eastbound from Airline Drive
Much like No. 8 on our list, the entrance from Airline drive onto the North Loop is complicated by the proximity to the ramps leading to I-45 south. If you intend to try and skate all the way across to the North Freeway exit, you take your life and the lives of countless others in your hands. Take Airline all the way to 45 instead and the life you save might be mine.
6. I-45 southbound from Patton
Another descent into madness is exacerbated by a stop light (see photo above), an incredibly short distance to the freeway and no merge lane. I've seen cars sitting in the median holding up traffic on the ramp because they are terrified to try and enter the main lanes. And if that weren't enough, the entrance is a favorite of semi-truck drivers coming from the truck stop on Patton.