Roadscapes Wednesday: Happy Place Video


Roadscapes Geek Alabama

On this Roadscapes Wednesday, let’s do something a little different!  The Vimeo channel   created a short film called Happy Place.  And for those who will be buying toys for their kids this Christmas season, this is something cool you need to watch.  Heck, if you are not buying any toys, still watch this!

The film is about a toy truck imprisoned inside its packaging and stuck on a toy shop shelf, a lonely radio-controlled toy truck uses its imagination to go on an adventure and find its happy place.  The toy shop was filmed in England while the desert scenes were shot in Nevada.  And the filmmakers used a shot in-camera technique and a forced perspective scenes for the toys in the desert.

Yep, even toys can have an imagination, enjoy!

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Roadscapes Wednesday: The 30 Dumbest Road Signs


Roadscapes Geek Alabama

Yeah, I think we all have seen a dumb road sign here and there.  And the YouTube channel Top Media has compiled a countdown highlighting the 30 dumbest road signs you might find on the side of the road.  From confusing to outright dangerous, enjoy!

Roadscapes Wednesday: Say So Long To US 431 On Quintard Avenue


Roadscapes Geek Alabama

For about hundred years now, US 431 has been routed down Quintard Avenue in Anniston.  It is paired with AL-21 and it’s one of the busiest roads in East Alabama.  In fact, I even made an Roadscapes video highlighting Quintard Ave.  But very soon, my video will be outdated!  Because US 431 is about to leave Quintard Avenue forever.

That’s right, when the Anniston Eastern Bypass fully opens, US 431 will be the official routing.  The original plan from ALDOT was to have US 431 continue onto Quintard Avenue, and the new bypass be named AL-901.  As seen from the blueprint below of the new intersection in Saks.

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But, things have changed!  When the bypass fully opens, US 431 will go onto the bypass.  And instead of taking US 78 in Oxford, US 431 will go onto Interstate 20 between exits 188 and 191.  How do I know this?  Because ALDOT put up BGS signs at the exit 188 interchange in Oxford.

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For now, ALDOT has used black cloth to cover up the US 431 shields, since the bypass is not fully open yet.  But, the cloth was not put on very good since it’s temporary.  Thanks to some wind blowing the cloths open.  You can tell what is being covered up is US 431.

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So, when the bypass fully opens, all of the current US 431 signs along Quintard Ave. and US 78 will be removed.  But don’t worry, Quintard Ave. will still be a state highway as AL-21 will still be traveling down the busy road.  One has to wonder, with US 431 moving, how much of the traffic levels will drop off along Quintard Ave?

Roadscapes Wednesday: Will The US 280 Flyovers Ever Be Built


Roadscapes Geek Alabama

On this Roadscapes Wednesday, I am opening up the Geek Alabama mailbag!  A person named Roman Selig e-mailed me about the horrible and disastrous US Highway 280!  Roman wrote:

I consider the last “improvements” to Hwy. 280 as a band aid. I don’t think the traffic problems on 280 will be cured until something is done to eliminate the bottle neck at 280 and I-459. I know that a flyover was started but then stopped when talk of other improvements – elevated highway, etc. – began. That’s why there is a dysfunctional traffic arrangement for traffic exiting I-459. It’s too bad that none of those plans were implemented but I’m sure you know that there will never be consensus and the only way something like that will happen is if ALDOT just makes an executive decision. I realize that is probably impossible because of too many politicians being involved, which trumps engineering judgment.

So, that brings me to my question. Is a flyover at 280 and I-459 back on the table and if so, when would it be implemented? As I stated earlier, since the flyover had been started before (ROW’s had to be obtained, etc.) then I assume the only thing standing in the way is backing and funding. This is sorely needed and would be a big improvement to 280 traffic. When you consider the present cost to individuals and businesses that are caused by the problems with 280, it would seem that this project would be a top priority. ALDOT and the state might even get funding help just by asking. I know that I would contribute.

US 280 / I-459 interchange from Google Maps.

US 280 / I-459 interchange from Google Maps.

Yes, there has been talk about an US 280 flyover at the I-459 interchange. As of right now, there are two traffic signals governing the traffic coming off I-459 and getting on I-459.  On one side, you will find an intersection with 11 red lights!

Back in 2014, several trees were taken down to plan building the flyover, but nothing has been done since then.  The reason why nothing has been done is because of a lack of funding. From this story from WBRC, ALDOT says they need $50 million in funding to build one flyover from US 280 west to I-459 south.  The flyover project could be years away, or might not happen at all.  It all depends on politicians and road funding.

Now, to make you even less secure about a flyover ever being built.  This story from the Anniston Star talks about how road funding will be the next big battle in the Alabama Legislature.  And given how there are many of these so called “Tea Party no new taxes bozos” in the legislature.  The future of the US 280 flyovers, or any other new roads in Alabama, looks very bleak!

But hey, you can say we have one of the worst road systems in Alabama!  You can also say we have one of the worst and corrupt DOT’s in America!  That’s Alabama for you.  All I can say is enjoy sitting in the US 280 traffic for years to come, I hate saying that!

Roadscapes Wednesday: Contraflow On US 431/ Anniston Eastern Bypass


Roadscapes Geek Alabama

This week on Roadscapes, I am featuring photos from a contraflow setup on US 431 in the Anniston area.  This area is under construction for a tie in of the Anniston Eastern Bypass.  Who knows when the construction will be complete, for now enjoy all the traffic going to one side of the 4-lane with a concrete wall separating traffic!

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