Traffic jams and accidents are unpredictable, but some spots on Miami’s road map are always going to suck more than others. Miami’s worst intersections are like toxic exes. As hard as we try to avoid them, somehow we forget the pain they’ve caused us and go running right back into their arms, only to have old wounds ripped open one more time as we contemplate peeing into that empty Zephyrhills bottle rolling around in our passenger seat.
1. Grand Avenue at Main Highway and McFarlane Road
Not one, but three constipated streets all converge at this Coconut Grove focal point known as CocoWalk. The good news: you’ll have time to get out of your car, walk to Panther Coffee and grab a cold brew before the light changes. The bad news: the light will never change and now you live in Panther Coffee. (Bonus good news: Panther has free Wi-Fi).
2. NE 36th Street and NE 2nd Avenue
Designed by a city planner who was allergic to smiles, this intersection serves as an artery to the Julia Tuttle Causeway, Biscayne Boulevard and the ninth circle of hell. Pro-tip: No.
3. SW 8th Street and SW 15th Avenue
Come to Little Havana’s iconic Calle Ocho for the culture and stay for the food, music and also because you literally can’t leave on account of the endless flood of tourists, chickens and elderly Cuban men who have set up their domino game directly in front of your Toyota.
4. Ponce De Leon Boulevard and U.S. 1
Actual transcription of my editor talking during the brainstorming session for this article: “I’ve been given the finger a million times there. I had this woman chase me in her car once. She had her shower cap on and it was 7 in the morning. I sped into my building’s parking lot, scared.”
5. The Brickell Avenue Bridge
This bridge is recognizable for its towering statue of an arrow-wielding Tequesta warrior, which you will wish would come to life and shoot you in the face after spending half an hour watching gaudy yachts fuck up your commute.
6. NW LeJeune Road & NW 7th Street
Behold: a demonic mishmash of lost tourists coming from the airport, gamblers hightailing it to the Magic City Casino and nervous drivers being extra cautious to avoid the dreaded red-light camera ticket. Add in a fire station deploying engines every 20 minutes and you’ve got the traffic equivalent of a fart.
7. 5th Street and Ocean Drive
It’s less than a mile to the sand once you get off the MacArthur Causeway but, more realistically, it’ll take you a millennium to get to 5th and Ocean Drive. Fun fact: if you enter this intersection into Google Maps, your phone punches you in the ear. The good news is a mouthwatering TGI Fridays awaits to greet you at the end of your journey.
8. SW 8th Street and SW 107th Avenue
Here, FIU students learn a very valuable lesson: life is cruel and miserable and pain follows you everywhere you go. Also, there are some great deals on street mamoncillos.
9. NE 6th Street and Biscayne Boulevard
Though the NBA season only runs from October through June, you’ll find that there is always a Heat game ending just as you arrive at this intersection, located near our American Airlines Arena. 7am on a Sunday morning? Heat game! Tuesday at 5pm? Heat game? Friday at 9pm? Katy Perry is starting at power forward and your car is on fire!
10. SW 8th Street and S Miami Avenue
The Brickell City Centre has been, largely, a very good thing for Brickell. Unless you happen to be in a car, in which case it is about as beneficial to you as a hemorrhoid, which you’re actually at an increased risk for while seated in traffic.
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