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5 Weird Roads

Planning a road trip this summer? A lot of us are; and it sure is nice to be able to hop in your car and drive pretty much anywhere you please on a safe, smooth, well-lit road. Okay, maybe not; but, potholes notwithstanding, consider yourselves lucky that none of the following roads are part of your daily commute.

Canton Avenue – Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, this is one road you do not want to mess with in the winter. Why? Because technically, it’s the steepest street in the world! Canton Ave. has a 37% grade, which means that for every 100 feet you travel, you gain 37 feet of elevation. I doubt if it’s a snow route…

Yungas Road – What’s 10 feet wide, has no guardrails, goes through waterfalls and threatens you with 2000 foot drop-offs? It’s the Yungas Road in Bolivia! This 43 mile stretch of nastiness is labeled the most dangerous road in the world, and thus attracts lots of tourists who for some reason actually want to drive it.

The Magic Roundabout - The above photo shows what drivers traversing one intersection in Swindon, England have to deal with. The Swindon roundabout is actually six roundabouts. Drivers enter the large clockwise roundabout and are funneled into one of the five mini roundabouts contained inside. It’s baffling to tourists, but apparently works quite well and has an excellent safety record.

Photo: Marco Mayer

Stelvio Pass – Do you get carsick? If so, don’t drive this road. The Stelvio Pass in the Italian Alps has got to be the curviest road on the planet. To negotiate the pass, drivers are subjected to 60 hairpin turns, 48 on the north side alone. It’s a very popular destination for sports car drivers and motorcyclists.

Photo: Rick Archer

The Guoliang Tunnel – Probably not the best choice for the claustrophobic, this tunnel in the Henan Province of China is only 16 feet tall and 13 feet wide. Although it’s only ¾ of a mile long, it took villagers five years to carve with simple hand tools. Plus, they were nice enough to include “windows” so you can see how far the drop is!

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