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Old 03-30-2009, 04:14 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default 10 Worst Roads in America

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Road conditions vary from city to city, but here are some universal facts: 169,278 hours and 120,127 gallons of gas are wasted by Americans in traffic each year; 81 percent of fatal car accidents happen on rural roads; and 32 percent of traffic fatalities involve drunk drivers. For commuters, traffic is invariably worst on Fridays from 5 to 6 pm and best on Mondays. With all of that said, here are the 10 trickiest pieces of pavement to negotiate in the nation. Avoid at all costs.

Los Angeles Highway 101 to I-405 Interchange

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Nowhere in the nation (except parking lots) do cars spend so much time bumper-to-bumper than at the juncture of the 101 and 405 freeways in Los Angeles, which link the east side of the city with the downtown area. The statistics alone are enough to provoke road rage: 318,000 drivers per day use this juncture, and they spend 72 hours of their lives stuck in traffic annually. The rush hour window here is a staggering five to eight hours per day, and during that time, you'll spend twice as long on the road as when it's traffic-free which makes for the highest travel time index rating in the nation. If you must drive it, make sure your Bluetooth is fully charged and your iPod is locked and loaded. Speaking of which . . . you'd be wise to avoid eye contact with other drivers: Car-to-car shootings are not a relic of the past. There have been six so far this year, although most were the result of gang violence rather than road rage. If your schedule is flexible, log on to www.sigalert.com for a personalized traffic report that includes e-mail updates on your route and a traffic-camera video feed.

Colorado 550, aka Million Dollar Highway, from Ouray to Silverton

Click picture to enlarge Colorado Highway 550



This southern Colorado two-laner is all-around treacherous: As it climbs out of the former mining town of Ouray, the southern route S-curves through three San Juan Mountains passes (topping out at 11,018-foot Red Mountain Pass) with nary a guard rail or sliver of shoulder all the way to Silverton, 24 miles away. Fleets of road-hogging recreational vehicles routinely make this drive, giving you zero room for error, and late fall's wildlife migration and deer hunting season put thousands of deer and bighorn sheep on the move and crossing roadways unexpectedly. Ice slickens 550's pavement as early as October. During winter passage it is even dicier: The Million Dollar Highway is directly in the path of a major avalanche zone, and in 1987 the road was buried by a slab avalanche. For current Colorado road conditions, visit Colorado's Department of Transportation at www.dot.state.co.us.


Atlanta's I-285 at I-85 Interchange, aka Spaghetti Junction

Click picture to enlarge Atlanta I-285 at I-85 Interchange


The hip-hop duo Outkast, Atlanta natives, named a song after this gnarly web of highway. The lyrics are foreboding: "Be careful where you roam cause you might not make it home. Don't you dare ever get lost cause you get caught up in that sauce." The junction is a five-level interchange (think clover leaf above clover leaf above clover leaf) with multiple ramps and smaller roads feeding into it. The American Highway Users Alliance gave Spaghetti Junction a grade of F, indicating that stop-and-go traffic prevails here most of the time, causing 133,000 hours of traffic delays each year. The time to avoid Spaghetti Junction at all costs: in winter, when a combination of rain and freezing nighttime temps can turn the many ramps and overpasses into a labyrinthine ice skating rink, causing dozens of accidents and epic delays.



San Diego, I-5

Click picture to enlarge San Diego I-5


All-you-can-drink specials at Tijuana bars attract hordes of SoCal residents each weekend many of them San Diego college students and other minors who are lured the 15 miles across the border by Mexico's lower drinking age (18). Hence, the stretch of Interstate 5 leading north from Tijuana becomes a swerving, high-speed DUI minefield on weekend nights, and each year 10,000 to 15,000 people are arrested for driving while intoxicated in San Diego County. Occasionally, all-night binges combine tragically with one of the most traffic-clogged early morning commuting routes in the country both in San Diego and leading north through Orange County.



Chicago, Circle Interchange

Click picture to enlarge Chicago Circle Interchange


When this highway interchange was originally built in downtown Chicago in the 1950s (linking I-94 and I-90 with I-290), the idea was that the complex of single-lane, circular on-ramps would slow the city's traffic to 25 miles per hour so that drivers could merge peacefully into six-lane highways. Fifty years later, as Chicago's population has blossomed to 2.8 million, the Circle Interchange has put a stranglehold on Windy City commuters, who endure an average of 90 minutes of traffic delays on it each week. The Circle Interchange's prognosis is grim: This tangle of roads was built on a four-square-block plot of land, which makes improvements a civil engineering conundrum. Making matters worse is that I-290 is a traffic nightmare in its own right, moving at an average speed limit of 11 mph during rush hour


Maine Highway 1

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If you hit a moose and it falls through your windshield, you will be crushed," reads a warning on the Web site for northern Maine's Magic Pond Wildlife Sanctuary. Maine has one of the country's largest moose populations (an estimated 29,000), with the majority roaming the northern reaches of the state, which is laced with rural roads. The key problem is that moose eyes aren't reflected in headlights (i.e., you won't see them until it's too late). And when you're driving two-lane roads such as Maine 1, which connects Bangor and Portland, there's often no shoulder, so the only way to avoid moose is to veer into oncoming traffic. Most of Maine's rural roads also have poor road signs, plenty of sharp curves, and frost heaves in the winter (bumps in the road caused when the pavement freezes and thaws). In fact, Maine has the highest fatality rate on rural roads of any state in the country (81 percent of fatal car wrecks are on back roads). In summertime, distractions include roadside blueberry stands, sightseeing tourists driving carelessly and drivers who are hitting highway speeds on tight, winding, former farm-to-market routes. To find Maine's safest rural roads, visit www.saferoadmaps.org.New York, I-95, Cross-Bronx Expressway

Click picture to enlarge New York I-95


The Cross Bronx, as it's known to New Yorkers, has the dubious distinction of occupying four of the five top slots in a 2008 study of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the nation. The study was conducted by researchers at INRIX, who analyzed 31,000 segments of road across the country. What plagues the Cross Bronx? It's part of the I-95 corridor flowing in and out of New York City, meaning all manner of vehicles barrel down it every day tractor-trailers go tire-to-tire with commuters through some of the most densely populated portions of the country. You won't find shoulders or helpful signage here, and you will find potholes galore and speed-crazed drivers. Overdrive, a trucking industry magazine, gave New Yorkers top honors in its annual survey of worst drivers.


Nevada I-15

Click picture to enlarge Nevada I-15


Most of you hop a plane if you're heading to the casinos of Las Vegas, but Californians and Nevadans hop into their cars. Nine million step on the gas for the drive through the desert to Vegas on Interstate 15 each year. In a five-year period, 173 lost their lives on I-15, and most of them were simply going too fast, whether in a rush to get there or while high-tailing it home after their luck ran out. There's nothing tricky about the road itself, but the 125 miles of desert terrain with a gradual climb through a 4,000-foot pass southeast of Sin City seems to beckon speed demons. Roadside attractions include ghost towns both old and new, from clusters of abandoned, graffiti-covered buildings to the 1880s-era mining town of Calico (just over the border in California and accessed by following the Ghost Town Road exit and then paying the $6 admission fee). Worst time to drive it? Friday nights, of course.


Providence, Rhode Island, I-95 at the I-195 Interchange

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The way Interstate 195 was built is both a blessing and a curse: In an effort at maximizing historic preservation, it follows routes that already existed in and around Providence when it was laid down in the 1950s (specifically, it traces a former hurricane barrier). But by circumventing historic sites and open spaces and not following a traditional Interstate design, safety was compromised. Short on- and off-ramps and sharp curves are conducive both to accidents and traffic jams. Drivers spend an extra 18 minutes in their cars every time they venture into the I-195 interchange at I-95 and a whopping 287,117 of them do it each day. As such, it's made it onto America Highways list of worst bottlenecks in the country

Louisiana, I-10



Louisiana roads are still hurting in the aftermaths of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Much of the extreme damage (such as Louisiana 27, where sections were completely swept away) has been repaired. But less obvious problems, including the effects of water submersion on the roadbed of Interstate 10, which crosses the southern part of the state and passes through New Orleans, are still awaiting a fix. Road building in Louisiana has never been easy the soft, swampy bayous don't take well to permanent structures, and pavement often buckles as the soil shifts. And because I-10 was hit both by Katrina and Rita, it's become known as the "Hurricane Highway," so riddled with potholes that one trucker interviewed by Overdrive magazine described it as "rougher than a corncob."






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Old 03-30-2009, 04:44 PM   #2
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If you want to get to the city you can get to it from other ways like the saw mill parkway but if you need to get to NJ then yeah traffic is going to suck... weekends suck in and out.
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:22 PM   #3
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CO 550 is the ****. Why is that on this list?
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by SubaruImpreza_power View Post
If you want to get to the city you can get to it from other ways like the saw mill parkway but if you need to get to NJ then yeah traffic is going to suck... weekends suck in and out.
Problem is the Cross Bronx is really the only way through NYC for trucks. And taking 287 around is a pretty hefty detour. The little blurb also doesn't mention that construction of that road is also the largest single factor in the decline of the South Bronx.

Posted on nycroads.com:
"If you have ever wondered if you're in Hell, then you are experiencing a rather normal spiritual quandary that you share with many. If however, you know without the shadow of a doubt that you are in Hell, then you must be on the Cross Bronx Expressway!" - Jeff Saltzman
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:10 PM   #5
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CO 550 is the ****. Why is that on this list?
If you've ever been on it, you'd know. I don't think my wife will ever go there again, and my daughter left the evidence of her thoughts all over the back of my FJ Cruiser

I don't think I've ever seen a road with a honest-to-god monument on it for how many snow-plow operators have died from falling off the cliffs in winter trying to keep it open. There's a couple guard rails, but most of the cliff areas do not have anything on the edge except for a foot or so of gravel "shoulder". Two lane. Thousand plus foot cliffs. Hairpin turns. Fun stuff!

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Old 03-30-2009, 08:30 PM   #6
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wow good read
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:38 PM   #7
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The 405 is ridiculous. 24 hours of traffic.
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:44 PM   #8
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The higher the taxes the worse the road system
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:11 PM   #9
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woot RI made the list!! We're number 1 We're number 1 (or 10 i guess, good enough)
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:18 PM   #10
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I nominate ALL of Atlanta.

"What the hell were they smoking when they designed the road system here in Georgia?"
-Jeff Foxworthy
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:59 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dimswits View Post
Problem is the Cross Bronx is really the only way through NYC for trucks. And taking 287 around is a pretty hefty detour. The little blurb also doesn't mention that construction of that road is also the largest single factor in the decline of the South Bronx.

Posted on nycroads.com:
"If you have ever wondered if you're in Hell, then you are experiencing a rather normal spiritual quandary that you share with many. If however, you know without the shadow of a doubt that you are in Hell, then you must be on the Cross Bronx Expressway!" - Jeff Saltzman
True I forgot about the trucks...
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:00 AM   #12
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damn moose.
although I've yet to see one on the road since I moved here...
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Old 03-31-2009, 02:06 AM   #13
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I encountered a moose and her calf(?) walking along the road in blizzard conditions on the way to the COG rally back in 2007. It took them about a 1/4 mile to decide to get off the road.
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:09 AM   #14
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I'm surprised that the 550 is the only crappy CO road on there. There's plenty others to choose from. I also think that the I-5 is not bad in the slightest. I grew up in North County and was stationed there and thought the traffic there was a joke. Same thing with the 15, with as many times as I drove back and forth on it between Camp Pendleton and here in CO. The 101-405 interchange does make me very angry though, because my friend wrecked my mint FC RX-7 there within 5 minutes of him getting behind the wheel. I can't say anything about the east coast though, as the only times I've been there I haven't been behind the wheel.

Edit: I just noticed the poster above me is from WY. Don't you think that I-80 should be on the list?
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Old 03-31-2009, 10:29 AM   #15
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i cant ****ing stand I-285 at I-85. i get lost almost every time..
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Old 03-31-2009, 10:57 AM   #16
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Rt. 113 through Peabody, MA (outside Boston) is notoriously horrible. I used to take that to work.
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:00 AM   #17
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You get lost? haha

Spaghetti Junction is really bad if you are trying to go from 285 east-bound to 85 north in the afternoon. I avoid the north side of 285 at all costs. The new 316/85 intersection is a big improvement and has really eased both the morning and evening rush hour congestion.
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:01 AM   #18
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duplicate post.
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:37 AM   #19
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LA #1 Bitches!
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:53 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vostok 7 View Post
If you've ever been on it, you'd know. I don't think my wife will ever go there again, and my daughter left the evidence of her thoughts all over the back of my FJ Cruiser
If I'm calling it the ****, there's a good chance I've been over it; and I have been in a few seasons. There are plenty of roads like that in the state; 550 just happens to be one of the most scenic.

Now, if you want to talk about Colorado's habit of not using reflectors and allowing lane markings to fade, then I'd say it's one of the worst states out there.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:12 PM   #21
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I cannot believe nothing in Houston made that list.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:21 PM   #22
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woot RI made the list!! We're number 1 We're number 1 (or 10 i guess, good enough)
I used to hate driving to East Providence from CT every morning.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:33 PM   #23
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Somebody's got to represent the Chi, LOL. They designed it to force people to go slow....we have traffic to do that automatically, ha ha.
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:29 PM   #24
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What's really bothersome is trying to join 290 from Lower Wacker Drive. It's a double right onto the highway, which is just starting at that point with the last light on the Congress Parkway (which becomes 290). Just like the 290-90/94 pretzel there's another one a little farther south where 55 crosses those two east-west routes; you have to deal with those when you hit the start of 55 coming off Lake Shore Drive.
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Old 03-31-2009, 02:20 PM   #25
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If you do it late at night (or early in the morning) the Cross-Bronx is like the trench run in Star Wars.

I-95 from New York to Providence is a horrible, horrible highway. I remember hearing a report on the CT news one time that even if they added another lane to 95 in CT, it would be at 110% capacity
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