Thursday, November 01, 2007

On ramp to hell

Lileks on asked for
what are the worst
on-ramps for merging
onto highways. I
immediately thought
of the one that haunted
me through my last year of
high school, which is the
on ramp to merge from
west end boulevard onto
I-10 at the same place where
I-610 and I-10 merge heading
out of new new orleans into Metairie. They've improved it now so that
there is a third lane on I-10 instead of being just 2 lanes with a 50 foot
acceleration lane. But it still sucks, you come out of a super-tight cloverleaf
that immediately curves left again and accelerates onto I-10. If you were
merging at 5:30 traffic in the acceleration lane was stopped, while traffic
on I-10 could either be stopped too or moving at 75 mph.

while you're palms were still sweaty, you had to merge again with the I-610
traffic, then cross the 17th street canal. I always looked at that canal with
fear, since the water level is higher than the surrounding houses. Growing
up I always tried to picture what would happen if it broke, but I always underestimated
what actually happened when the levee broke and let the canal and lake
ponchatrain into the city.

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