Our loop freeway system has its origins in a City of Houston Planning Department planning report from the 1950s. Ten years later, it was an official project taken up by Harris County.
It's been through a lot of ups and downs, but generally Beltway 8 is how we get around our massive Houston. Someone passed us a link to a series of maps that placed our 83.13-mile beltway on top of other major metropolitan areas. The results are pretty interesting and give you an idea of just how large our area really is.
The map compares Houston's area with those of London, Honolulu, Paris, San Francisco and New York City.
This actually looks quite familiar, especially the way the River Thames cuts through the Beltway like that.