Traffic

Carmageddon 5: The Carmageddoning of the West Loop

You only thought Mad Max: Fury Road was joking...
You only thought Mad Max: Fury Road was joking... Screen Capture Image
It's back...with a vengeance. The sequels in Houston traffic just keep coming. Just when you thought it was safe to get on the freeway...

You get the idea. Traffic: It's bad and this weekend it is going to get worse...much worse.

Welcome to Carmageddon 5: The Carmageddoning. It's like that time when we had a pandemic and social protests and an impeachment and a hoard of locusts and murder hornets all at the same time and then we decided to add freeway closures, you know, for funsies.

This weekend, two of Houston's major freeways will be shut down and you should prepare for this. Honestly, if you're smart, you'll just stay home and avoid crowds. But judging by how many of you are out without masks and roaming around like there is no such thing as a coronavirus, we're guessing you will at least need to know this info to avoid clogging up traffic for the rest of us who want to survive to see our dystopian future.

From Friday night through Monday morning, both the East Freeway (Interstate 10 East at Waco Street going eastbound just east of downtown — yeah, that's a lot of east) and the West Loop (Loop 610 northbound at Richmond — Galleria, beware) will be shut down. To make it even more fun, a pair of lanes and the 59 exit from 610 going south will also be closed.

We feel for the folks on Houston's east side or those maybe heading for Lake Charles to do some gambling in recently opened casinos (for the love of God, please wear a mask as the slots, man). Getting out of downtown is gonna be rough. Steel yourselves.

But there won't be much to rival the nonsense we will have this weekend and for the next three years along one of the busiest stretches of freeway in the city. The West Loop will continue to be awful until it's completely reconstructed around 2023, and even then, does anyone think we'll be that much better off? A couple weekends back, it was the Southwest Freeway that was closed at Weslayan. This weekend, it's the West Loop at Richmond.

You'd be hard pressed to find a worse closure than that, especially considering you'll be sent to the feeder road at Westheimer if you are one of the unlucky bastards to get stuck there this weekend. Between all the angry freeway drivers and those desperate to meander the Galleria, it's not going to be fun.

We've recommended in the past you avoid the area at all costs, but you don't seem to listen. So, we'll just say good luck and may you make it out of the area alive.
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke