The complexity of modern transportation infrastructure can be mind-boggling, especially when it comes to certain crossings and interchanges around the globe. It’s hard to look at some of these convoluted intersections as facilitating the flow of traffic, and not just hindering. Here are our top five worst intersections in the world.
5) Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo, Japan
Shibuya is a ward located in Tokyo Metropolis, Japan, and it’s famous for its scramble crossing in front of the Shibuya railway station. At different intervals traffic is stopped in every direction to allow pedestrians to swarm the intersection in whichever direction they please. The intersection has been featured frequently in movies that take place in Tokyo, including: Lost in Translation, The Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift, and Resident Evil: Afterlife andRetribution. Not surprisingly, the Starbucks overlooking the intersection is one of the busiest in the world.
4) Nguyen Cahn Cha Intersection, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Rush hour traffic in Ho Chi Minh City is a sight to behold, especially at the city’s busiest intersection. There’s a minimum of traffic controls here, just safety lights, which seem to be regarded as more of a “guideline.” As a pedestrian I’d be terrified trying to get across the free-for-all. It’s the chaos theory in action.
3) The Magic Roundabout, Swindon, England
In England there is an intersection named the “Magic Roundabout,” though it seems a more appropriate title for it might be “Deathtrap Roundabout” or “Clusterfuck Roundabout.” Built in 1972, the roundabout has five mini-roundabouts arranged around a sixth, larger roundabout. That already sounds like five roundabouts too many, but to make conditions more alarming for drivers, the larger, inner roundabout traffic moves counterclockwise, while traffic in the mini-roundabouts and outer loop flows in the usual clockwise direction. Oh, and don’t forget in the United Kingdom they drive on the left side of the road, so if you’re a tourist — especially from the U.S. where there are seldom roundabout (or manuals) — you’re screwed. On the bright side, the intersection actually has a good safety record, since traffic moves too slowly to do any serious damage in the event of a collision. At least there are arrows to help guide you around. Below you can watch a tourist couple’s survival story.