Dear 59/610 Exchange Drivers, Seriously, WTF?

 Highlights from Hair Balls

Spaced City

Hi, fellow Houston drivers.

Listen, if you ever drive on Loop 610 or Interstate 59 and use the intersection of those two freeways, we need to talk. There's a real problem. You should probably sit down.

This week alone, there have been two serious accidents at that location. One involved an overturned truck that blocked the freeway for the whole day. The second was the morning of June 6 in rush-hour traffic and log-jammed the place yet again. That interchange has been ranked as one of the worst in the entire state of Texas. It's an awful place, filled with angry drivers and the twisted metal rubble from accidents of days gone by. It's freaking Thunderdome.

So I have two questions for you, dear driver.

1. Why do you drive there, like, ever?

If you work or live in that general area, I guess I get it, but I lived very near there for a year and I avoided that interchange like it was Amanda Bynes on crack. Not only is it a crazy intersection, but it's nearly always jam-packed with traffic. Why not take Westpark or one of the side roads? Why subject yourself to daily danger, anguish and stress?

2. Why can't you be more careful?

Seriously, people there drive like Amanda Bynes on crack. In fact, Amanda Bynes on Crack is what they should call that whole area. People fly across multiple lanes to make their exit. They do this most frequently to get to the Galleria, as if Nordstrom was going to sell out of that $1,000 pair of sunglasses before they get there. THEY CAN BACK-ORDER IT, DAMNIT! If you know the area is dangerous, why not proceed with caution instead of suddenly turning into a stunt driver from The French Connection?

My point is that this is an area that's constantly loaded with traffic, and very often the people in that traffic don't know what the hell they are doing. I drove through there once and saw a woman putting on mascara in the mirror with one hand and holding her cell phone in the other. She was driving with her freaking knees down the freeway while staring into her own reflection.

I saw another guy there in a Hummer who was weaving across lanes of traffic, whipping in between cars, while eating a burger and talking on the phone. Way to go, Bro-Ham. I hope you enjoyed your thrill ride.

So, if you're going to/have to drive through this interchange at any time in the future, think of your safety, think of the safety of others, THINK OF THE CHILDREN, and drive like a normal, sane human being. If you simply can't do that, you might want to consider retiring from driving. We'd all be better off for it.


Deadly Duty

Four Houston firefighters who died battling a motel blaze honored in public memorial.

By Dianna Wray

Fire trucks from across Texas rumbled through the streets of Houston before dawn on June 5 to be a part of a procession leading into Reliant Stadium. The trucks filled the front stadium parking lot, silent, their lights flashing as they moved into the lot an hour before the memorial service started.

Cari Henry had her son Kason, six, on her left hip and held her son Kael's hand with her right hand as they watched the trucks roll in. It was about 9 a.m., but the sun was already beating down, beading their faces with sweat. Henry's husband used to be a firefighter. As they motored by, she pointed at the different fire trucks before going to find seats in the stadium for the memorial. Firefighters were seated on the floor before a stage surrounded by floral arrangements framing four firefighter jackets — the last name of each victim printed across the back.

At 10 a.m. Reliant Stadium was silent, aside from squeaking chairs and the steady drone of the air conditioning, as the families of four Houston Fire Department firefighters — EMT Capt. Matthew Renaud, 35; Engineer Operator EMT Robert Bebee, 41; Firefighter EMT Robert Garner, 29; and Probationary Firefighter Anne Sullivan, 24, who died battling a blaze at the Southwest Inn when the roof collapsed last Friday — made the long trek from the back of the stadium, down the aisle to the front rows, for the public memorial.

Firefighters from across Texas, the country and the continent came to town for the memorial service, Houston Fire Department Chief Terry Garrison said. Some were at the service, and other crews volunteered to take charge of the stations so Houston firefighters could attend.

Garrison spoke looking out at a crowd of more than 15,000 people, including hundreds of firefighters, all wearing sky-blue shirts crisp with starch, black shoes polished to a mirror shine, spotless white gloves, and faces locked into the kind of military non-emotion that always seems to be worn in photos of these things.

Sometimes a woman in uniform would look down and sort of brush something from her cheek. Sometimes a man in uniform would swipe at his face with a white-gloved hand, as if to swat a fly from his face. But mostly their faces stayed immobile, aside from a constant working of the jaws — row after row seemed to be chewing gum, working it more intensely some moments than at others.

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re: the 510/59 interchange.  I don't get  that either.  what I get even less was that about 10 +/- yrs ago they re-did the entire thing to alleviate the congestion, only to have it look EXACTLY the same after the entire 2yr project was completed & still have the same results.  talk about wt*?!  the only people that benefit from that project were the engineers & construction company behind it.  they truly had the last laugh all the way to the bank on that one!

MJT1 1 Like

@jeeterbug   The expansion made a big difference on the morning / northbound side for about 5 or 6 years then things slowly worsened until the underpasses and flyovers were finished and things got better for a while. has a huge blind spot about the West Loop for some unfathomable reason.  The worst part of the exchange are the cars stacking up to go south from 610 NB to 59 SB which creates a wall between the main lanes and 59 NB.  I've got no idea what causes the stackup in the morning on 610 SB from 290 to the Galleria, either, but it's time that Transtar got off their ass and gives us an idea where these folks are coming from.

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