The Fishhook interchange connects Highway 17, Ocean Street, and Highway 1. The Fishhook is notable for its 270-degree turn, which helps to ensure its continued ranking by San Jose Mercury News readers as among the worst interchanges in the South Bay and East Bay.  It was constructed in stages starting from the 1940's to the mid 1950's.

This turn can be dangerous if cars attempt it without reducing speed in the turn and getting back to traffic speed after the turn.  The Southbound Highway 17 traffic does not slow down for the joining traffic from the fishhook. The fishhook gets at least five times the traffic incidents as any other similar change-road.

The fishhook can be dangerous, the Highway 17 to Highway 1 transfer --at the same location-- has also had numerous accidents. That connection goes from one lane from Highway 17, to two lanes on the connection road, and back to one lane on Highway 1. When accidents occur on this connection the news reports always state it was "near the fishhook" and some people assume it was a northbound accident before, on, or after the fishhook.

Fixing the danger of the Fishhook has met with a lot of resistance. One attempt from March to June in 1999, was to re-mark the roads. This eliminated accidents on the Fishhook and tripled accidents/incidents before the fishhook.

Attempts at reconstruction have been rejected by citizens and city councils of Santa Cruz.

Jeff Waller has an interesting site about the Fishhook here.

Red dots show the Fishhook. Even CalTrans calls it Fishhook. Where Fishhook joins Hwy. 17. Notice the ramp is banked to prevent crashing into Hwy. 17 traffic.


Please don't. You'll die.

Public Transportation

Buses are among the tens of thousands of vehicles that use the Fishhook daily. Hang on!