Roadscapes Wednesday: 11 Minutes Of The Oxford US 78 / AL 21 Traffic Light


Roadscapes Geek Alabama

This is going to be a quick Roadscapes this week, since everyone is either going, or about to go somewhere for the Thanksgiving holidays.  This week, I recorded about 11 minutes of footage of the traffic light intersection at US 78 (Hamric Dr.) and AL 21 (Quintard Dr.) in Oxford Alabama.  The traffic lights and the poles were recently upgraded, and all of the traffic lights along AL-21 are now synchronized in Oxford.  So, enjoy 11 minutes of this traffic light intersection!

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Roadscapes Wednesday: Why You Should Avoid Quintard Avenue For The Next Six Months


Roadscapes Geek Alabama

If you have driven up and down Quintard Avenue, you have noticed that workers are re-doing parts of the sidewalk.  What they are doing is they are adding handicap ramps at every intersection, so the sidewalks can be ADA compliant.

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Well, there is a problem.  When the workers are ripping up the sidewalks, they are also taking out the sensors milled into the road that control the traffic lights.  In simple terms, it means traffic on Quintard will get a red light, even when no one is waiting on the side street, because the signal loops have been cut, and that means you are seeing massive, I mean massive traffic jams that stretches for blocks!

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All of this is because those traffic signal loops have been cut, and that means the side roads get a longer green light time.  And traffic on Quintard Ave. is getting a much shorter green light time.  It also means traffic is blocking the intersections, because the traffic signals are now screwed up, even the intersection in front of the fire department is blocked.

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So, what does all of this mean.  It means that you, the driver, should avoid Quintard Avenue at all costs until next spring.  Every traffic light intersection has had their signal loops cut.  And if you are wondering what a signal loop is, it’s basically a small black wire milled into the road, like in this picture below.

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I highly doubt ALDOT is going to re-mill the signal loops into the road that has been cut because the road is about to repaved.  All of this means that you the driver are going to enjoy big traffic jams.

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Cars trying to squeeze their way around the cars.

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And sitting at a light for no reason until Spring, when the road is repaved, and new loops are milled into the road.

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All of the signal loops being cut will make the overnight drive on Quintard a living nightmare.  Yep, you will get to sit at every traffic light on Quintard because the loops have been cut.  Overnight, the synchronization to the traffic lights is off, and I hope you have something to keep you occupied.

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While you sit at a red traffic light, I hope you enjoy those new ramps on the sidewalks, I hope it was worth it!

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And heck, some ramps still have a huge bump!  My advice, stay of Quintard Ave., and find another way around to avoid this mess!

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Roadscapes Wednesday: Honoring Tom Magliozzi From Car Talk


Roadscapes Geek Alabama

Before podcast, and the multiple web shows you can see today on the internet, there was NPR, and the weekend show Car Talk.  Ray and Tom Magliozzi ran an auto shop in Massachusetts in the 1970’s.  And soon, the brothers got to start a national car show on NPR in 1987.  Car Talk became the best public radio show ever!  With over 35 years on the air, Click and Clack ended their show two years ago.  But you can still hear plenty of classic audio clips online from Car Talk!

And to honor Tom Magliozzi, who passed away from Alzheimer’s disease, I am embedding some moments from Car Talk.  Rest in peace.

Roadscapes Wednesday: The Bolivia Road Of Death


Roadscapes Geek Alabama

This week, since it’s Halloween, I am featuring a road so dangerous, one wrong step, and you fall off a steep cliff, and die.  And forget about guardrails, since the road is way too narrow for that!  The road is called Yungas Road, and it was built in the 1930’s.  The road was cut into the side of a mountain range, and as you go up, one side is pure rock, and the other side is a 2,000 cliff drop!  And the road is only dirt, and 12 feet wide, for two-way traffic.  Add in rain, fog, mudslides, and rocksides, and you can see why this road is the most dangerous road in the world!

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It is estimated that around 200-300 people are killed on this road every year, and this road attracts thrill junkies that want to say “they drove and survived the death road!”  On this road, drivers drive on the left, even though Bolivia drives on the right, so drivers can see the edge and make sure they don’t fall off.  And downhill drivers must yield to those going uphill.  Since going downhill means you are on the edge of the road, it adds to the thrilling experience!

So, the spooky question is, would you drive or ride on Yungas Road, or the Death Road?  After seeing a couple of videos below from this dangerous road, my answer would be a big NO!  And I would stick to the new and modern Yungas Road built about 10 years ago!

Roadscapes Wednesday: Downtown Connector Protest / Krog Street Tunnel Protest


Roadscapes Geek Alabama

On this Roadscapes Wednesday post, on a Thursday, I am talking about two big things that happened in the Atlanta Metro on Wednesday evening.  And these were both some big things!  First, let’s talk about why traffic on the I-75/I-85 Downtown Connector was a nightmare.  It was not because of a major wreck, it was because people were on the Interstate.

The people on the Downtown Connector were protesters, and they felt like blocking traffic in Atlanta would get their point across about the Ferguson shootings.  Here is a video from the YouTube channel Sean C who was in the right place in the right time.  The driver got to see the protesters form their human shield on the Interstate.  The video does show some profanity on the banners.

The protesters were not only protesting against the events in Ferguson, Missouri, they were also protesting other events in what they are calling “police brutality.”  The protest is a part of a national week of resistance to mass incarceration and police brutality.   And the police becoming more militarized.  So, blocking one of America’s busiest highways to get a point across about the police being too powerful is what these protesters wanted?  Some people on social media have said if they were in that traffic blockade, they would have run over the protesters.

Yeah, you have a right to free speech in America, it’s our first amendment rights.  But going onto a major Interstate to get your point across was not only dangerous, but wrong!  The police was swarming all over the protesters on the Interstate, and I wish the police would have arrested all of the protesters who were trespassing on GDOT property.  The protesters were with “Black Lives Matter.”  Here are a few tweets from them at the protest.

If that was the only crazy thing happening in the Atlanta Metro on Wednesday evening, you were wrong!  Around 10 pm, another Atlanta area infrastructure landmark was being protested on.  This was at the Krog Street tunnel.  The tunnel is famous for the graffiti and artwork painted on the walls all throughout the tunnel.  Well, if you go to the Krog Street tunnel now, you will only find gray painted walls.

You see, there was a planned event this weekend in the Krog Street tunnel called the  Krog Masquerade.  The event would host 2000 people in a Halloween style event.  Everyone would be required to wear a mask, and tickets were $50 to $100 a ticket!  The folks who do the artwork inside the tunnel did not like the idea of people paying to see their artwork.  In their words, the street art should be free, and people should not make money on the artwork, and it should not be privatized.  So, to get their point across, around 100 people showed up in the tunnel at 10 pm, and within one hour, the entire tunnel got re-painted.

The people whitewashing the tunnel did not want their decor as part of their event, and they made sure the Krog Masquerade would go on without the famous artwork.  As of this writing, there has been no update from the folks putting on the Krog Masquerade.  But the artists accomplished something, that no public artwork is for sale.  Yes, soon there will be more artwork painted on the Krog Street tunnel walls.  The people living in the  Cabbagetown neighborhood not only protested public art being made profitable so some people can make money off of it.  They were also protesting the tunnel being blocked to traffic, the shady practices of the organizers, and the neighborhoods not getting any share of any profit made from the masquerade.

So word to anyone wanting to use public art to make money, don’t do it!  Or people will do anything possible to make sure your event is harmed!  Two big events in one evening in Atlanta Metro, it was some crazy stuff!