I have heard some call it The Armageddon of the Highways, in jest, and others are serious when they say it. One thing is for certain: Atlantans only thought traffic was bad before March 30, that fateful day that I-85 caught fire and part of it burned down. The week after Spring Break, we had some more road problems. Torrential rains, hail-thunder-bolt-and-lightning-very-very-frightning-flash-flooding caused some roads to be closed down near where I live. This was Northlake Parkway:
THEN, I-20 buckled, due to an underground gas leak.
I was half expecting to see this guy come up through the concrete: A major intersection in my neighborhood was recently closed for about 5 weeks while the county fixed a water main. This sign appeared on Easter Sunday: This is the main road that we all use to get in and out of the neighborhood! This sign was a joke, of course, and the intersection was actually open, but some of us were beginning to feel like it was going to be closed forever. This week, a sinkhole on 5th Street was reported:
Now, this traffic thingy does not affect me all that much, say, unless, I have to go to one of my many doctors, who are spread out all over the city. While I thought I had taken care of all that over Spring Break, alas, I should have known that something else would inevitably come up and I would not only have to miss more work, but also have to drive through the clusterfuck that is now the Buford Highway Connector. I was right, of course. The Middle Child had a doctor’s appointment yesterday-deep in the heart of the fake Buckhead (I can say fake Buckhead, having grown up in Madison, Georgia, the next-door-neighbor to the original Buckhead, the one that keeps Buckhead in Atlanta from ever becoming it’s own city). We left our house in more than plenty of time, as I have a real hang-up about being late. I used Waze-even though my favorite voices (Morgan Freeman and Madea) are no longer available, damn it (If they are available, I cannot figure out how to use them-which would not be surprising in the least). They made it much more tolerable to drive anywhere. While Waze totally rocks, sometimes, there is just nothing it can do-especially here-and yesterday was one of those unfortunate times.
Everywhere I turned, there was a stopped line of traffic. I felt like I was in a corn maze…or better yet, at the Overlook Hotel…with Jack Torrance chasing me…..When we finally made it to what looked to be free and open road on I-75, we were blocked by 18 wheelers on either side, and an elderly woman doing 55 in a Camry in front of us. Not missing a beat, The Middle Child and I burst out into song, simultaneously, with a moving rendition of Ludacris’ “MOVE BITCH GET OUT DA WAY, GET OUT DA WAY”… I am getting a bit teary just thinking about it now (from laughing). I was finally able to pass the Camry and made up 2 minutes of our lost time before I exited onto Moore’s Mill Road and got hung up in traffic, yet again. Needless to say, we did make it, and only 4 minutes late. I have ONE GIANT COMPLAINT: PEOPLE OF ATLANTA!!!! STOP BLOCKING INTERSECTIONS!!!!! YOU ARE CAUSING THE TRAFFIC PROBLEMS!!!!! Our ride home was also heinous. Today I ordered groceries. I have had to lay down some ground rules. Nobody is allowed to do anything (except go to school) that involves me driving more than a two mile radius from home. All doctor and hair appointments (these fall under Necessary) must be mid-morning or on the weekend. If you must stay at school late, you must Uber home. Last, but not least, we will not be leaving the city on Fridays after 3:00AM. And a word of advice to anyone even considering coming to Atlanta: DON’T. For the love of GOD, stay out of here. I am thinking we may need to change Atlanta’s name to “Hotel California, Georgia”. You may be able to get in, but you can never leave. Good luck.