Driving in Houston


(To enable our many visitors to cope with life in America's Fourth Largest City)

  1. First you must learn to pronounce the city name. It is YEWS-TUN and it does not matter how people pronounce it in other places.
  2. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Houston has its own version of traffic rules. Never forget that downtown Houston is composed entirely of one way streets. The only way to get out of center of town is to turn around and start over when you reach Dallas, Texas.
  3. All directions start with, "Go down Westheimer..."
  4. Westheimer has no beginning and no end.
  5. It's impossible to go around a block and wind up on the street you started on. The Chamber of Commerce calls this a "scenic drive".
  6. The 8am rush hour is from 6:30 to 9:30am. The 5:00pm rush hour is from 3:30 to 6:30pm. Friday's rush hour starts on Thursday morning.
  7. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you cannot be from Houston.
  8. Reversible Lanes are not understood by anybody.
  9. Kuykendahl Road can only be pronounced by a native, so do not attempt the phonetic pronunciation. People will simply tilt their heads to the right and stare at you.
  10. The falling of one rain drop or (God forbid) one snowflake causes all traffic to immediately cease; so will daylight savings time and a girl applying eye shadow across the street, or a flat tire three lanes over.
  11. Construction on the Gulf Freeway is a way of life, and a permanent form of entertainment.
  12. Many bizarre sights can be explained simply by uttering the phrase, "Oh, we're in Montrose!!"
  13. Construction crews aren't doing their job properly unless they close down all lanes except one during rush hour.
  14. If someone actually has their turn signal on, it was probably left on at the factory where the car was made.
  15. Understand that the 95-pound woman driving the Ford Excursion (the largest vehicle ever produced) absolutely MUST come to a complete stop, then proceed at 2.5 mph over any railroad track. What's the deal? This vehicle was built to invade small countries, and she's worried about the railroad tracks!!!
  16. All ladies with blue hair who drive Cadillacs or Lincoln Continentals have the right of way.
  17. The above mentioned blue-haired ladies also have a legal right to turn right from a left lane or to turn left from a right lane. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
  18. White-haired men driving red or silver sports cars will not obey any known traffic rule and cannot be expected to stop for red lights or stop signs. (Hmmm, sometimes those driving black sports cars, too.)
  19. Buying a Houston street map is a waste of money since there is absolutely no way that you can route yourself in such a manner as to avoid major road construction.
  20. Buying a Houston street map is a waste of money since the termination or continuation of any street is entirely at the discretion of the Streets Department of the City. It has been determined that the length of any street on any given day is a mystery known only to "Higher Powers" in the department, and it is rumored that they do not speak to mere mortals. (Which of course explains why Holcomb & Belaire coexist for 3 or 4 blocks.)
  21. Asking directions will help you get acquainted with the numerous recent residents of an amazing ethnic diversity. It will not help at all for finding the address you seek.