Sub-Suburban SUV Adventure: Braving That Big Trip “Downtown”

Spurred on by family members waiting patiently at the Carrabba’s on Kirby — and the promotional whizzes at GM and CBS Radio, who’ve furnished her with a brand-new vehicle to drive for 8 weeks — mommy blogger and new Chevy Traverse spokesmom Stephanie Click ventures out from her “own little world” in Katy to . . . the scary and purportedly trafficky Inner Loop!

Will she make it? How will her blogger-swag loaner car stand up to the rigors of multi-lane Houston driving?

44 Comment

  • I have a deal for her: If she stays in Katy, I’ll stay in the loop.

    Hopefully a hipster is filming the ironic response to this – driving to Katy in their 1984 Volvo 240 wagon and snickering the whole time.

    “See the USA in your Chevrolet” indeed. Ugh.

  • Come on carjackers! Where are you when we need you?

  • wow there are some odd people around. what is so very hard about changing lanes. if you lived inside the loop there would be less traffic of your suburb people driving out….wow eye opening

  • Maybe they should show this in driver’s ed about the kind of idiots you will be sharing the road with. This was truly terrifying for anyone with more than a couple years driving experience.

  • I’m also a transplant to Houston but have found living inside the loop very convenient. Sure there’s traffic on the highways but that’s people escaping back to the suburbs. Getting around “my own little world” inside the loops is just as easy as when I lived in a suburb. Just a different aesthetic. Bentley’s and crackheads vs. Suburbans and pill popping soccer moms. Eh.

  • Or you could live so far inside the loop that you walk to Fiesta and the movies. And only use the freeways to pick someone up at the airports.

  • I JUST THREW UP. I’m hoping that was fake!

  • C’mon you guys–you aren’t being fair! She’s only been here 3 years. That’s not enough time for someone to drive 20-odd miles into the loop to, oh, I dunno, go to a museum, or go watch the Rockets or the Astros play, or see places where homosexuals and artists hang out. Giver her another 5 or 6 years–don’t rush her!

  • When she said she was going to be ‘weaving’ in traffic to go downtown, I thought it was curious that she was announcing that she’s a careless, dangerous driver. Most people are in denial about it.

    Seriously, if changing lanes or coping with traffic is that challenging, the woman shouldn’t have a license.

  • Oh this is too funny. Not like I needed another reason to despise suburbia, but yet again here it is.

    I’m trying to figure out where the scene was filmed where she was complaining about ‘downtown’ traffic. It didn’t look downtown to me, it looked more like one of the many outer loop highways thats jam packed with suburbanites. Besides, if she lived in Katy and was going to Kirby she shouldn’t be anywhere near downtown.

    BTW, I quite enjoy my inner loop life. $10 says my commute is less than hers.

  • I don’t think this tells anything about people from suburbia. It actually tells more about some of the elitist attitudes of my fellow inner loopers posting on here.

    The most I get from this video is that this driver didn’t research much about where she was going to in order to prepare for it. Big whoop.

  • Yep, I am elitist, and will ridicule people who proudly proclaim their provinciality. Fooey on them from me! (And I live outside the loop, by the way.)

  • Well, I did say some of the commenters. Yours RWB was actually the one I get the elitist feel. I like the sarcastic tone and it goes to my point.

    If this woman has never been downtown and suddenly just decides to take I-10 on in to the center of the city, she deserve what she gets. When I first moved here a little over 7 years ago, I did a little research before just heading out on the roads of this city.

  • Wow, I would hate to see this person in traffic in NYC. Traffic inside the loop here is Mayberry compared to that. I find that the traffic in the ‘burbs is far worse than inside the loop since all the street layout is designed to channel all traffic to the freeways where the retail is. Inside the loop the streets are more or less on a grid, so there is always an alternate route to get somewhere if traffic builds up.

  • I understand why people live in the burbs, and if it makes them happy, then good for them.

    What I found funny is her comment than she doesn’t live in the loop because driving from the burbs into the inner loop is hard. Well, duh. That’s why I like my inner loop life – I never have to get on a crowded freeway.

  • “Wow, I would hate to see this person in traffic in NYC. Traffic inside the loop here is Mayberry compared to that.”

    You know, I never had problems driving on surface streets in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or the Bronx (never drove to Queens or Staten Island). It was generally pretty easy to get around. But the freeways and parkways coming into and out of NYC were complicated and unnerving traffic ordeals.

    (Now parking in NYC, that is the REAL nightmare.)

  • You want elite? I’ll give you elite.

    Unless you own a stand alone house ITL, you are not a real ITLooper.

    Sharing a wall with someone? How common. If you own a townhome (still sharing a wall), or rent, just a tourist ITL. Not elite. Destined for the suburbs once you start breeding.

    As for the video, last time I checked no place ITL had huge highway flyovers like that. So, was that I10 at the Beltway, or 59/Westpark/610 area?

  • Oh my that was hilarious! Ten bucks says this women jumped across 4 lanes of traffic at the last second to make the “downtown” Kirby exit

  • Bless her heart. She just don’t know no better. Now I hope all y’all remember that it just ain’t christian to be makin fun of other people. With all that glass in them big scary buildings downtown – you know you shouldn’t be throwin them stones!

  • She has some big hair. Anyway the problem with these huge SUVs and trucks is that you are so removed and insulated from what is actually happening on the road that you drive as if your actions have no consequences. Stick someone like her behind the wheel and the problem is inevitably compounded.

  • Wow! She uses the mirrors, too!
    How was this person chosen? Was there any review process at GM? She might be a wonderful human being, but her vlogging skills are lacking!

  • My initial reaction was like KJB’s…. a pretty elitist attitude from several of the posters on this thread. It’s the kind of attitude that people in Houston hate about alot of Dallasites. You know that snobbish, I’m better than you are because of….,and I need to constantly remind myself I’m better than you are because I’m so f*#@ing insecure. Put those of you that are displaying such an obnoxious attitude in a room with a good psychoanalist/counsellor/therapist/psycologist and they’d have a field day with the lot of you. Granted, this woman comes off as naive and foolish, but that does not grant carte blanche to everyone with an insecurity axe to grind reason to equate all suburban housewives as soilent green material. Shame on the lot of you. I’ve lived in the burbs, and I own a stand alone house inside the loop. I like living inside the loop. That doesn’t make me any better than someone who chooses to live way out in the boonies.

  • Are suburban moms not accustomed to there being mirrors mounted to the vehicle? Because she seemed really excited about the mirrors.

  • No apologies from me CK. I live in the burbs–inside the beltway but outside the loop. The thing I found so easy to mock about our poor, picked-on vlogger is not that she lives in the burbs, but that she has never been inside the loop (or “downtown” as she refers to it). It is precisely because this woman comes off, as you say, as naive and foolish that she is so easy to make fun of. And the fact is that her naivet√© is completely voluntary. She’s been here 3 years (she says)–she certainly could have found an excuse to visit the center of the city in that time.Based on my own experience, she is not a typical suburb/exurb dweller. Many of my co-workers and two of my siblings live outside the beltway and manage to not be total rubes, like this lady. I guess it is a bit mean to make fun of her, but hey, she didn’t have to make a vlog of her grand “adventure” for all to see.

  • …and she’s not a Houstonian either, unless Katy was annexed.

  • Eh, the whole setup was kind of silly. Clearly GM marketing was aiming to target the sort of people who view driving into the “big bad city” as a huge adventure. Apparently these are the sorts of folks who buy a Chevy Traverse. Not that every outside-the-beltway dweller is like that, of course, but this blogger is representative of that type.

    I’m always surprised at the people in the Houston metro area who live in the suburbs in order to avoid scary traffic. To me, the traffic in the commercial centers of the suburbs is just as bad, if not worse, than what I encounter within the Loop. My boss dropped me off at home once, with the surprised comment that “wow, you can drive from the Med Center to the Heights without going on the highway”. Then proceeded to tell me that the reason he lived in Sugarland was that his wife was terrified of highway driving. I still don’t get it.

  • This has to be a joke! Right? It’s funny that she thinks Carrabba’s on Kirby is downtown.

  • While the video blog was insipid at best, the smug responses are worse.
    Not everyone can live inside the hallowed loop. I’ve lived there before with that freeking train blowing through by Mid Lane in the middle of the night and dealt with waiting on it to pass by when getting out of Lynn Park and Highland Village.

    Going east on Westheimer was less than fun when it necks down inside of Shepherd.

    Referring to her “naivete” about getting around in Houston, blessing her pea-picking heart and calling ITL expats as “breeders” is so childsh.

    Please don’t act like Dallasites in my horrible and wonderful city.

  • Oh come on people. Have a sense of humor. I can bless her little heart if I want to – she put it right out there on the interwebs! This is exactly the kind of forum in which one would expect people to air their geographic biases. So what if it occasionally descends into childishness? This posting has brought out the “nah nah” little kid in some of us, and the “tsk tsk” school marm in others. We get to decide which character we’ll play, but ultimately it’s all entertainment, sponsored, as it turns out, by Chevy.

  • No wonder GM is bankrupt.

  • Katy is a DUMP.

  • JPSivco,

    Do you mean Katy the city or the general area referred to as Katy?

    What the reason for calling out this small town that existed years before the suburbs ever reach it?

    Not exactly a high caliber comment or at least a funny one.

  • Makes me wonder how the rest of her family members got to Carrabba’s. Helicopter?

  • She probably doesn’t really live in Katy. She probably lives in Cinco Ranch or some other south-of-the-freeway MPC that is in Katy ISD so people say they live in Katy. OMG, I’m agreeing with kjb again. Cinco != Katy.

  • When I worked in the ‘burbs, everyone referred to anything ITL as downtown. It took me awhile to catch on – so it isn’t just her relative newness to the area – it is the language of the ‘burbs.

    I agree – the traffic was no better out there than the traffic I experience living in the Galleria area. No one out there believed me, but as a veteran of both I knew they were equal. (Only in the Galleria I could find another way around.)

    There just seems to be a real misconception about real traffic patterns ITL compared to those ‘burbanites are familiar with.

  • I love the gushing over the mirrors! It’s almost too much!

  • The reason that Ms. Click deserves every bit of mocking she gets is not that she lives in Katy – people live in Katy for perfectly good reasons – it’s that she’s chosen to put a video of herself being rather stupid online.

    Now that she’s discovered mirrors, however, her children probably stand a better chance of reaching adulthood intact.

  • Ok, Fry road on a Saturday is impassable.

    And that’s why I no longer live in Katy. Oh, and that little divorce thingy.

  • As an aside, some of the comments being tagged as ‘elitist’ are nothing more than an individual expressing his/her favouritism on a particular neighborhood or area. Elitist attitudes are not confined to Inner Loopers by any means either. I’ve run into some doozies up in the Woodlands. ANYONE can afford to live in the loop, I am convinced of that. The question best answered is ‘What are you willing to give up to do so?’. If you have large housing demands with a limited budget, chances are the suburbs is your answer. If you can live modestly, there are plenty of Inner Loop properties for you.

  • I’ve lived for many years in Boston — heard of it? Ever heard the expression “Boston Driver”? I’ve also lived in Philly, and driven more than once to NYC, by which I mean downtown Manhattan. I also lived near Chicago briefly.

    Houston highways terrified me for three years. The first time I visited, I was gripping the steering wheel in terror when I took the ramp from 610 North Loop eastbound onto 59 North (on my way to the airport). What is that, like six miles high? I’d rather drive the Tappan Zee or Walt Whitman Bridge.

    I lived for my first few years near Greenway Plaza, and had to enter 59 near the 59/610 junction, which can be nuts to someone unfamiliar with it. This may have been one reason I was put off of highway driving. But I also refused to drive on I-10 inside the loop entirely.

    Now I’ve become accustomed to the roads here (I’ve lived here 8 years total), and feel at home on these highways, more or less. Let me share an observation.

    Boston differs from Houston in one way. Drivers in both cities are insane, but in Boston the drivers know what they’re doing. They’re just being aggressive with you. In Houston drivers are in fact idiots. This is terrifying of itself.

    Houston, and Texas in general, has an excellent innovation, which is the surface road. You can’t get lost on a highway because you can always pull off the highway and figure out where you are. In Boston, Philly, Albany or the NYC Metro area, if you take a wrong turn anywhere, you’re gone. Forget it. Check your gas tank and make sure you have gas, because you’re going to drive a huge honking distance, and pay crazy tolls, before you can figure out where you are.

    But this has a flipside. These surface roads are kind of like a safety net. I think Houstonians figure they can be even crazier on the roads than normal, because, well, you can always take the next surface exit.

    My two cents, anyway.

  • I’m glad I’m not the only one who has noticed the incredible idiocy of the drivers here. I grew up in a suburb of New York and lived in Boston and DC for almost 20 years, and while the traffic is worse in those places, and the drivers are more aggressive, you at least got some sense they had some idea that they knew what they were doing. In Houston it seems like no one even have the basic driving skills to turn a corner or drive in a straight line. It is, in its way, far scarier to realize that you’re sharing the road with someone in a Suburban who is paying no attention to the road, doesn’t realize it has mirrors or signals, and has no idea how to properly slow down and turn a corner. (Hint: if you’re coming to a dead stop to turn into a parking lot, you need to switch to a bicycle.)

  • Biggest road hazards are Immigrant Drivers (IDs) and Soccer Moms in large SUVs.

  • I need to add to the comment by markd … teens and tweens both male and female jabbering on their cell phones, changing CDs and performing some attempt to look at themselves in the mirror while weeving in and out of traffic at high speed (mind you most of them live ITL) … I’ll take soccer moms in SUVs over the above ANYDAY, for the simple fact that over-caution is far better than over-confidence when driving in traffic. Give the poor OTL mom a break, and remember opinions are like XXXXXXXs, everybody has one.

  • I lived in Clear Lake for 12 years and moved in the loop last year. The traffic in the video looked just like the backup I endured everyday on I45 southbound in Clear Lake.