Chamblee54

The Ride

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 27, 2022

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In the modern workplace, there are subjects you don’t want to talk about. Discussions of religion, politics, race, and celebrity footwear can spark unwanted controversy. The question then arises, what can you talk to people about? What do you have in common with a diverse group of people?
One subject, usually safe for conversation, is your ride in to work. In an freeway crazy place like Atlanta, everyone has a story. Last week, PG took notes on his ride. What follows is the journey one day, from a Brookhaven house to the Vinings office complex. The day is April 30. The next day is May Day. The parade has been cancelled, due to lack of communists.
7:41 am Leave the house. The idea is to report at 8:30 am. You want to allow a few extra minutes for unforeseen problems. The good news is that, in the morning, going west on I285 is against traffic. East bound, or the inner loop, is a traffic nightmare.
7:43 am /0.3 miles Turn the corner on Eighth Street, and the start of New Peachtree Road. In the pre-marta days, Eighth Street went over the tracks to Peachtree Road. When PG was a kid, there was a sign for the railroad crossing. There was no red flashing light.
7:44 am The Southern Crescent passes on the Norfolk Southern line, next to New Peachtree. The train is going to New Orleans. The people on that train are probably having more fun than you.
7:45 am/1.1 miles This is the first red light. You turn left onto Clairmont Road. Peachtree Dekalb Airport is down the hill, across the street. At certain times of the year, you can see the sun rising over the airport on your morning run.
7:47 am/1.4 miles You have gone over the wonderful bridge. In the pre-marta era, to get from the end of Clairmont, to Peachtree Industrial, you had to make a left turn, cross the railroad tracks on a bridge made from telephone poles, and cut through the Krystal parking lot. Now, a bridge takes you over all this. At the end of the bridge, you take a left turn onto Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.
7:48 am/1.7 miles Turn right onto Johnson Ferry. You will probably need to slow dawn for the traffic ahead of you. Welcome to Atlanta.
7:53 am/2.4 miles This is the confluence of Johnson Ferry Road and Ashford Dunwoody Road. When these roads were built, they took farmer Jones to church once a week. Now, they are lined with subdivisions. For some reason, these two busy thoroughfares merge, go forward on two lanes for about a hundred yards, and then split up. There are lots of angry soccer moms making left turns.
7:54 am/2.6 miles When you get to the fork in the road, take it. If you lean left here, you head towards Cobb County. This stretch of road is a long downhill run, a bridge over Nancy Creek, (7:56 am/3.7 miles,) and a long uphill climb. This is all on two lanes, with double yellow lines in the middle. The speed limit is 35 mph. At least once a week, there will be an SUV behind you that wants to go faster. This is bad for the composure of everyone involved.
7:58 am/4.5 miles There is a red light at Peachtree Dunwoody Road. You are in Fulton County now. This is the area known as pill hill. There are three major hospitals, and enough medical office buildings to cause insurance apoplexy. The traffic creeps ahead at a stealthy pace.
8:00 am/ 5.0 miles A bridge takes you over Highway 400. You are not the only person who is over Highway 400. At least you are not on it.
8:00 am/ 5.1 miles Turn right onto Glenridge. If you had gone forward at the light, Johnson Ferry would have turned into Glenridge. This can get complicated.
8:01 am/5.3 miles Turn left, and get onto I285. This is exit 26 of the Perimeter. This is a seminal moment of the Atlanta experience. You are no longer ITP, or OTP, but OnTP.
8:03 am/6.2 miles You go under Roswell Road, exit 25. This is the first disappearing lane. The far right lane is exit only. If you are to continue, you must go over one lane.
8:06 am/10.4 miles You cross the Chattahoochee River, and enter Cobb County.
8:07 am/11.1 miles I75 is approaching. I285 splits in two, with one part dedicated to the exchange of vehicles, and the other half going merrily forward. You need to get in one of the two lanes to the left. This is scary for people who like to drive the speed limit. As someone said to PG once, “you gotta be as crazy as they are.”
8:08 am/12.1 miles This is the reunification of I285. Since you get off at the next exit, you need to go from the far left side, to the far right side. You have 1.4 miles to do this. This competitive lane changing is complicated by the appearance of uphill entry ramps. You settle into a lane, and discover a speeding pickup truck making a surprise appearance on your bumper. However tempting alcohol might be at this time, it is not recommended.
8:10 am/13.5 miles You get off I285. Paces Ferry Road is exit 18.
8:15 am/14.7 miles You get through the concrete obstacle course, find a parking spot, and turn the car off. The work day is about to begin.

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5:32 pm Start the vehicle. You are the only person that warms the vehicle before driving.
5:40 pm/0.3 miles Get out of the parking deck. Turn onto a side street.
5:42 pm/1.2 miles Turn right, and take a bridge over I285. On snow jam day, this part took 45 minutes. The pace on I285 below is not much faster.
5:44 pm/1.7 miles You are across the street from Cumberland Mall. Turn right.
5:49 pm/3.0 miles You turn left after crossing I75. You go into a series of concrete ramps. They will take you to I285.
5:58 pm/9.1 miles You exit I285 at Roswell Road, exit 25. This is your first opportunity to do so.
6:00 pm 9.8 miles You turn left onto Glenridge Road. You sometimes have to wait through a few lights. The idea is to get here by 6:00 pm. It can take a half hour to go the last quarter mile on I285, and go through this light.
6:03 pm/10.3 miles You turn onto a side road, which takes you over Highway 400.
6:07 pm/11.8 miles At the bottom of the hill, you turn left onto Windsor Parkway, and cross Nancy Creek. You will go up a long hill, and the traffic will creep and crawl.
6:13 pm/12.7 miles At the top of the hill you get to a four way stop. This is the reason the traffic continues to progress, however slowly. This is Lynwood Park. It was formerly the oldest black neighborhood in Dekalb County. The location has led to gentrification. It is now another trendy neighborhood, just what Atlanta needs more of.
6:19 pm/13.9 miles Turn left onto Peachtree Road. .
6:21 pm/14.3 miles Turn right under the railroad tracks. You are almost home.
6:23 pm/15.0 miles Home. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

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