Houston's 10 Most Treacherous Freeway Entrance Ramps

Categories: Traffic

5. US 59 northbound from Chimney Rock

Whoever thought it was a good idea to put an entrance ramp smack dab in the middle of a freeway interchange wasn't having his best day on the job. This is certainly the worst example of that poor feat of engineering. It is a near impossibility to get from feeder road to 59 northbound most times and it only increases traffic in an already desperately clogged area.

4. US 59 southbound from Greenbriar

This is one of the few problem spots that has as much to do with the side street as it does with the feeder road or the ramp itself. Climbing the ramp to enter the freeway in the tangle of traffic near Kirby is bad enough, but there are two right turn lanes from Greenbriar onto the feeder road because engineers chose this spot to merge Greenbriar and Shepherd. Cars flying from the farthest left turn lane make it difficult for those in the right lane to get near the entrance ramp, let alone enter it.

3. I-45 southbound just before Dallas

This is the first of two entrances in this immediate area. Yet another decline onto a freeway with no merge lane is the feature here. Because it sends drivers careening into busy traffic heading for the Pierce Elevated, it is especially dangerous. The fact that it is always crowded with people means everyone drives it cautiously and slowly, the latter a recipe for disaster.

2. US 59 southbound from Spur 527

I imagine that an Indy car driver was the person who designed this concrete slingshot that banks like a bobsled course before sending drivers hurtling towards 59. It is an equal shock if you are on 59 going south and see cars flying in from your right at insane speeds. You can, if you know the area, get in the far right lane and give yourself more time to merge safely, but no one does. Instead, they live out some slalom course fantasies at the expense of everyone else.

1. I-45 southbound from Allen Parkway

There is no better place to look fear and death in the eye on Houston freeways than this roller coaster entrance onto I-45 just north of the Pierce Elevated. It is common to see a person sitting at the end of the twisting and turning ramp, dead stopped and praying to God for mercy after having chosen to take this route. It is equally as common to see a lunatic with a death wish rocket onto the freeway like he was fired out of a pistol. How this ramp continues to exist is a mystery to me and a constant terror to anyone who must use it or drive near it.


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45 comments
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

It is called "The Revenge of the C- Student."


When I have nightmares, Houston freeways are often involved.

Taresa Mikle
Taresa Mikle

Around downtown....the entrances to 45 - having to merge onto freeway traffic. Scary!!!!

Kevin Gee
Kevin Gee

The one in downtown when you're on Milam and entering 59. Whoever designed that entrance ramp needs to be bitch slapped.

Eileen Palmer
Eileen Palmer

Weslayan on 59, race track. No one understands what a blinker is or uses one.

Ray Hadfield
Ray Hadfield

All of them...the idiots who don't understand to merge close to the same speed as the freeway traffic....

Elisa Flores
Elisa Flores

Any on ramp you have to merge into right lane and not because of on coming traffic from freeway but because of stupid drivers in front of me who come to a complete stop, how you gonna merge at a compete stop? And no I'm not talking about during rush hour...I'm talking about when traffic is flowing.

Kevin Lacobie
Kevin Lacobie

the Allen Parkway ramp onto I45 is awesome! Awesome scary that is, especially if your vehicle is tail-heavy on a slick road. Both Chimney Rock to 59N and Weslayan to 59S should be closed, as not meeting highway engineering standards for minimum distances from a highway interchange. The most deadly intersection in the city, though, is likely 610N to 59.

Cindy Featherston
Cindy Featherston

The 59 South exit and double merges onto 610 northbound. Made more difficult because newbies don't know how it works, through no fault of their own... it's a crazy design.

Rachel Doyle
Rachel Doyle

getting on i 10 at yale or heights blvd -_-

bdscarbo
bdscarbo

Naw, naw, naw. You totally missed a really bad one! It has the same short merge distance of the #1 and #2 on this list and no dedicated merge lane, and a shorter merge distance than the #3 (W Dallas SB to I-45). Like #5 and #6 and #7, it also has a metered ramp with a stoplight.

What makes it worse than most or all of the others? Because of the elevated lanes from Spur 5 and the rollercoaster structure of the freeway (elevated to at grade to elevated again in only a 1/4 mile), traffic entering the freeway can't glance over and see if there's traffic in the right lane of the freeway. Traffic on the freeway also can't see entering traffic until the last moment.

What is this terrible ramp? SCOTT STREET TO I-45 NORTHBOUND. It should probably be ranked #3 in terms of degree of difficulty, and maybe only #4 because the W Dallas ramp is more heavily used.

Also keep in mind that all of the people who drove their pickup trucks in the left lane since Galveston are all suddenly trying to cram into the right two lanes in order to keep traveling north on I-45.

Don't just take my word for it though. There is a multi-vehicle accident on I-45 NB just north of this ramp in a short 1/2 mile stretch about once per week. I've seen several accidents up close in this small section that involved 4 or more vehicles; there were certainly many more that I missed.

JBIII
JBIII

Glaring omission of the ramp between 59S and 45N near downtown... it's seldom used, but a clear #1 to anyone that's ever been on it.

Mark Braun
Mark Braun

West Belfort and Sam Houston Tollway North 1/4 mile before both lanes merge to Highway 59

Scott Newby
Scott Newby

I don't like that one from Allen Parkway eastbound to I-45 going south. It will spit you out right into the center lane and has no acceleration lane. I did it once, never again!

Brandy Bird
Brandy Bird

#1 I've almost been smothered by a semi. Never again!

Amanda Johnson
Amanda Johnson

#1....Unfortunately I've been that rocket with a death wish who almost plowed into that person at a dead stop at the end of the ramp. I will drive 15 extra minutes around town after that incident just to enter 45 south via another means.

Joy Gracey
Joy Gracey

#1 super scary. I have nightmares about that one

Owen Miller
Owen Miller

The one that scares me the most is right downtown. Coming down 59N to merge onto I45N.....Deadly Indeed

Daniel Rodríguez Daál
Daniel Rodríguez Daál

Every entrance ramp that "DUMPS" you onto the highway (1/2 of the entrance ramps in Houston)

Mary Walker
Mary Walker

The blind left-lane merge onto 45N from 610 under that Gulfgate tangle. It spits you right into the fast lane.

Nader Islam
Nader Islam

I hate the Milam entrance to 59 from downtown. It should its own lane. Also the entrance from 45 unto 59 in downtown is just criminal. Whoever designed both of those should be fired and roadways fixed immediately.

Tom Kennedy
Tom Kennedy

I hate the Shepherd curve entrance. Its one of the major choke points for the North Fwy.

Hanabi-chan
Hanabi-chan topcommenter

I know there is a purpose for them, but those traffic signals on the freeway entrance ramp are just about one of the most useless things ever.  Who really thinks that entering a highway from a dead stop is a good idea? There's not enough acceleration room and if you have a 4 cylinder wonder like me, forget it.  Methinks the highways in Houston were designed by those who think everyone in Texas drives a pickup truck with an engine that go to freeway speeds in a handful of seconds.

The Allen Parkway ramp? Jesus, that is one scary ramp.  I don't know how many times I have had to slam on the brakes because I get a Nervous Nellie who stops instead of merging into the lane.  That is the reason why I will go drive into downtown and take another entrance ramp to my highway of choice.

JLWM
JLWM

Honorable mention should go to the onramps to 288 south from Jackson St. and Hamilton St. Both have a lack of acceleration lanes, but the Hamilton St. ramp appears to be the worst of the two. The Hamilton St. ramp is complicated by its proximity to the ramp from US 59 north to 288 south, and by the little stub ramp that feeds into it from Chenevert. That stub ramp from Chenevert to the Hamilton St. ramp seems to be a favorite of little old ladies in 1994 Buick LeSabres who enter at 15 mph, and cut off everyone else trying to accelerate fast enough to enter 288 without being squashed by an 18 wheeler.

BobbyFreshpants
BobbyFreshpants topcommenter

Getting off 59 South at Chimney Rock is a fucking joke.

The other problem is people in Houston don't know how to use their blinkers and that ruins me! Stop changing in and out of lanes in front me and giving me the evil eye. How am I supposed to know what is going through your mind you...(insert lots of profanity). And when I do let you in, give me a thank you wave! 

Damn, I just had some road rage!

jeffbalke
jeffbalke topcommenter

@JBIII  Note that in the first part of the story I said that I wasn't including any interchanges between freeways. This is strictly for ramps coming onto freeways from feeders and side streets.

Markh
Markh

@BobbyFreshpants      Blinkers????   Are those the things you use to claim a parking space???  or when on the freeway, blinkers are the signal to tighten up!  don't let that sucker in!

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