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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Houston Freeways

I mentioned driving the Houston freeway system in a previous post. The car is king in Houston and the road system recognizes it as such. Back in Minneapolis, we have grudgingly widened our Interstate 35 to three lanes in close proximity to the center city. Of course, we made one of those an HOV/Toll lane during rush hour and metered the entrance ramps to discourage useage.

Here is what Interstates 40 and 10 look like in Houston.

They have four lanes in each direction (sometimes five) and parallel access roads with two or three additional lanes moving along at a posted 45 mph. (Actual speeds are considerably higher.)

When Houston adds an HOV lane, they take it from the middle and leave the existing lanes in place.

What makes driving the Houston freeway system exciting is the "left exit." It is not uncommon for the freeway to widen out to five or six lanes and then have two lanes exit to the left.

If someone has recently entered the freeway from the right, they have some serious lane changing to do. Why, here comes one now!

Besides the two main Interstates, there are a myriad of lesser highways, many of comparable width. When they cross, they make artful designs if you have time to appreciate them. Perhaps they are best appreciated from the air via Google.
Houston-29 HoustonInterchange-1

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