1. Greenway Plaza > Edloe > Short turn right on Westheimer and then a left on Larchmont > Inwood Drive > West Gray > Dunlavy > Allen Parkway > Waugh
2. San Felipe > Vermont > Willard > Montrose
San Felipe > Vermont > Commonwealth or Waugh
Special Note: Instead of connecting with San Felipe, try turning onto Reba Street, especially if you are coming off of River Oaks Blvd. Reba Street turns into Fairview and gets you to Commonwealth or Waugh
3. Lower Westheimer to avoid traffic on Montrose. Take Stanford to West Dallas to Montrose. Using Stanford avoids heavy traffic on Montrose. There are stop signs but usually not much cross traffic and it is faster.
4. Waugh > Indiana Street > Avalon Place > River Oaks Boulevard > Westheimer > Buffalo Speedway
5. When traffic on I-45 is backed up from Clear Lake to the Heights. Timewise, it is about the same. But you won't be stuck in bumper to bumper stop and go traffic as much:
I-45 > Exit to Highway 3 (Old Galveston Road) via Bay Area Boulevard or El Dorado or Clear Lake Boulevard, depending on where the traffic is backing up. Proceed on Old Galveston Road into Houston. Right on Broadway (name changes to Harrisburg for a short distance). Right on East Navigation, taking Navigation into town. Either Jenson going north to I-10 or pick up the feeder along 59 to get on I-10 or continue downtown to Travis or Louisina, turning right to pick up 45 North (Travis) or I-10 West (Louisiana)
6. From the Medical Center to Downtown, to avoid the traffic pile-up on 288 /59. Take MacGregor or Holcombe east to Almeda, turning left on Almeda to get to downtown quicker. Turn west on Gray to connect with the on ramp to 45 at Brazos.
7. I picked up an Uber passenger from my part of town (the Heights). He was a fireman and turned me on to a terrific short cut to the Astros Stadium / George R. Brown / St. Emanuel / Chartres part of downtown. The trick is not to go from the west side of downtown to that area. You get on I-10 going east. Just after you pass where 59 crosses I-10, you get off on the Jensen exit and go right (south). Jensen will curve around and become Navigation for a short time. Just after you cross St. Emanuel but before you come to Chartres, there is an opportunity to do a (possibly illegal) u-turn going back the other way and connecting with St. Emanuel. If you go straight ahead you will connect with the Astros Stadium and downtown.
( "Shortcuts" is a work in progress...feel free to post your personal shortcuts in the comments section )