Thursday, July 10, 2008

I-285

Personal Rehab Post #2
More of the mental diatribes that were running through my head prior to my personal debacle. I'm going to just keep it moving, another step and then another. I don't expect to make it anytime soon, but all I can do it close my eyes and go.


I've driven in a number of cities and rural backwaters. New York on the Skyway at 3am. Doing 120 just to keep up on the JFK in Chicago. That lonely stretch of I-10 between Jville and Tallahassee where I took my hands off the wheel for ten minutes doing 85. But I've never driven anything for pure evil and frustration like Atlanta's 285.

I once heard someone remark that they'd driven the world over, London, Hong Kong, South America, through minefields in Iraq, through parts of Africa where regulations are more suggestions than things you can break but they'd never seen anything like the perimeter that circles this jewel of the south. We'll not even get into Spaghetti Junction.


Most highways slow down if there is an accident.
Traffic on 285 can slow down because somebody is changing a tire on the side of the road. On the opposite side of the divider.

Most highways slow at rush hour.
Traffic on 285 can slow to a creep because it's Tuesday. Anytime Tuesday.

Most highways will encounter a reason for time to time - volume, sporting events, etc - that can cause delays.
Traffic on 285 will occasionally come to halt...for no damn reason at all.

Up until a few months ago, I was lucky enough to always be going in the opposite direction of traffic both coming and going to work. Unlike most people, I lived INSIDE the perimeter and worked OUTSIDE the perimeter. I used to joke I needed a passport to get to work. I never understood the need for a cell phone conversation in the car..or why a headset was important.

Then I moved.

Now as soon as I get on now the next exit is right there. Then there is a long long long ass gap between exits and if there are issues, they usually don't start until right after you pass that first one. Like maybe by 100 yards. And since the road curves right there as well, you can't really tell from the on-ramp and don't see the red tail lights 'til about 5 seconds too late. I get on, traffic is moving nicely and then slowly we grind to a halt. And creep a little bit and slow then creep then slow then creep. I'm only listening to classical and jazz right now (long story) and sitting there, looking at the clock wondering what the hell is going on is so frustrating.

Then, since my ride is something like 10-15 miles, I should be able to see what the issue is. Only once have I ever seen an actual accident that closed lanes. Sometimes traffic will get real real slow, then it picks back up again. No accident, nobody pulled over, not even a naked big booty chick walking down the side of the highway. Nothing! I'd really like to get some monitors and study the cyclical nature the damn system myself. Not that I'm in a rush to get to job and try not to commit interoffice papercide. But sometimes you're just like...WHAT IS GOING ON?

Is it so wrong that I want to know?

Since I like to imagine that I'd like to follow up that admittedly general inquiry with a small missile launcher and a backseat full of Molotov cocktails, and get someone's attention. But since traffic stops because the wind changes direction, a real incident might shut the city down for weeks. As it is now, I'm thinking of upgrading to the bluetooth headset. Please forgive me.

Now the city wants to add these little lights to on-ramps to ease traffic in slowly, thus creating backups on the ramps. Which ain't gonna help 285 any. The concept that I'll be mad when I get there hasn't struck anyone. yet.

Barkeep ...I'm driving. Make it a Whiskey Sour.

1 comment:

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

i am in the atl too.

Nice spot u have here, hope u don’t mind the drive by, do chk me out one day

rawdawgbuffalo and if u like what u read, maybe u will come back, even Blog Roll Me