A huge part of the whole experience in visiting a new stadium is the journey to get there. Many times, the car and the road is the primary means of transportation. I’m not a big reader, but I just finished an interesting book “The Big Roads” by Earl Swift which is about the history of the highway system in the United States. It got me thinking about my most hated roads, along with those highways that I liked too. The hated ones are easier to think about, especially since most of my travels come in the Northeast, where the highway system can get messy.
– Cross Bronx Expressway (I-95)…This has to be the worst road in America. I am on it frequently because my wife has family in Long Island and I dread this five mile stretch in the Bronx. First, the road is in abysmal shape. There are giant potholes everywhere, along with dips and bumps that rattle your car every time. Second, your almost guaranteed traffic between 6 AM and 11 PM. Third, the drivers are from New York…Just Awful
– Capital Beltway (I-495)…I’ve only been on this road once, but I’m sure there will be many more times once my stadium visits take me down into Maryland and Virginia. That one time was filled with traffic and I have heard about the horror stories that come with the Beltway and DC traffic. In fact, many argue that this is the worst road in America.
– Connecticut Turnpike (I-95)….This is the stretch from New Haven to the NY border and I feel like every time I’m on it, there is always traffic. The one plus are the rest stops that have food/restrooms/gas and show up frequently. Otherwise, it can be a congested mess.
– Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90)….I was only on this road a couple times while out in Chicago, but my GPS couldn’t keep up (stay right, then keep left…..keep right, then bear right). The road is busy, but what got me was the many instances where it felt like I was caught in exit-only lanes for different interstates and would have to get over. Needed to stay on my toes there.
– US-13 (in Virginia)…This is in the Delmarva section of Virginia, on the Eastern Shore. US-13 in Southern Delaware is surprisingly shady and not a place I would want to stop long in, but once you pass through Maryland and get into Virginia, the scenery improves and the stop lights diminish. Then it’s on to one of the more impressive architectural structures in the US: the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, which is nearly five miles over and under water. Very nice and then you’re right into Virginia Beach.
– I-70 (Denver to Grand Junction)…I’ve heard that I-70 in Kansas is the boringist road in the world as it is nothing but flat, straight farmland. But once you pass Denver and head into the mountains, the trip is unbelievably beautiful. The Continental Divide provides different types of mountain views and the four lane highway allows you to go fast and enjoy the sights. I do realize that I took this trip in the summer and that the ride can be scary and not fun during the winter season. It also is trafficy on Fridays and Sundays, when people are traveling from and to Denver.
– I-17 (Phoenix to Flagstaff)….Notice a trend here? It seems that roads with a name are bad, while those that have the straight Interstate or Highway number and are nickname-less are OK. Anyway, I was nervous starting on this drive because I don’t like if there are no places to stop for gas or bathrooms on long stretches (thus I-15 from LA to Vegas would not be for me). But I wasn’t pleasantly surprised to see enough stops and towns on this Arizona drive. Going from Desert into Forest was awesome.
– Route 17 (Binghamton to Elmira)….This is a less traveled road that has few cars, but yet is 55 with four lanes. It is in the Southern Tier of New York and the road runs along Susquehanna River with rolling hills in the background. A nice, peaceful ride and perfect if you can squeeze in a hockey doubleheader with the Jackals and the Senators as the two cities are less than an hour apart.