Roadscapes Stuff

Roadscapes Wednesday: Almost Went to Jail For Roadgeeking


Roadscapes Geek Alabama

On Saturday I experienced some traffic trouble on Interstate 20 around the Brompton exit.  While going to Birmingham on Saturday, before reaching the Brompton exit or Exit 147 on I-20, I got into the left lane and yes, a car had spinned out and hit the barrier wall.  The driver of the wrecked car was smart to get out of the way and pull onto the right shoulder before another driver hit him.  It was raining hard and the visibility was very poor.  After doing the activities in the Birmingham Metro, I was driving back on I-20 and when I hit the Brompton exit, traffic came to a dead stop!  I decided to ride on the right shoulder to exit and pulled over to get out of the car and take some pictures!

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While I was on the Kelly Creek Road bridge taking some pictures.  A police officer from one of the local cities, I forget which one, threatened to throw me in jail because I was roadgeeking.  The last time I checked, walking along a public roadway is allowed and taking pictures of roads is not against the law.  If there was not traffic backup because of yet another wreck at this stretch of I-20, I would not be there taking pictures.  I don’t have a bad relationship with most police officers.  The Alabama State Troopers and the county sheriff’s knows what me and other people do and roadgeeking is something they don’t have a problem with as long as we are not putting ourselves or other drivers in danger.

But I always have trouble with city police officers.  I have already encountered some city police officers in a very bad way.  One police officer from the city of Oxford threatened me about a year ago because I taking road pictures from my car and I was pulled over on the right shoulder.   A police officer from the city of Anniston threatened me over a year ago because I was taking road pictures while standing on the side of the road.  The last time I checked, I thought a road was public right-of-way?

It seems like I always have trouble with city police officers.  And this officer from either Leeds or Moody threatened me with jail.  You know something, if ALDOT would not have really bad standards about their highways, I would not be around taking pictures and talking about it!  Speaking of ALDOT, why in the world would they shut down a critical detour route along U.S. 78 while construction is still going on along Interstate 20?

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Interstate 20 from exit 147 to exit 156 in St. Clair County has been under construction for the last 10 years!  And this stretch is prone to wrecks that blocks the interstate for hours at a time.  U.S. 78 is closed from Cook Springs Road to the Chula Vista exit for a bridge replacement.  Unless the bridge was about to collapse, this should have waited until the I-20 construction was finished!

I was at the bridge closure and caught this double tractor-trailer truck at the bridge closure.  The driver took U.S. 78 to get around the blocked interstate and got stuck.  Many car drivers also had to turn around at the bridge closure because they were trying to get around the blocked interstate.  The truck driver had to take apart his double tractor-trailer truck and turn around!  This is dangerous!

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I guess ALDOT is wanting to anger the drivers even more to close down the detour route for when I-20 is blocked.  There is hardly any signage for the closure, there are only two barricades saying road closed to thru traffic and some detour U.S. 78 signs.  There needs to be better signage along I-20 to tell drivers that U.S. 78 is closed.

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Most of the three-lane project along the eastbound lanes of I-20 are now complete.  Here are some pictures.  Yes, the road lines needs to be repainted!

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