The Interstate 85 Atlanta Bridge Collapse Traffic Apocalypse


Today, a major event happened in Atlanta Metro that is going to cause traffic chaos for the next few months.  A section of the Interstate 85 elevated bridge between the Interstate 75 split to the Georgia 400 split collapsed.  The northbound bridge now has a major gap in it.  The southbound bridge is still all intact but we don’t know if the fire has compromised a section of the bridge as well.

Here are some social media reactions to the collapse.

So, what could have caused this fire that has caused a major interstate bridge to collapse?  All you have to do is look at Google Maps!  Apparently, under the bridge there are fiber optic cables that were being stored.  It looks like it could be cable for traffic management systems because no DOT’s anywhere in the country would allow stuff like this to be stored under a major infrastructure corridor.

A viewer sent in a photo to WSB-TV apparently showing the fire starting.

Of course, there will be investigations about how this fire started.  But the Georgia DOT needs to explain why a ton of cables like this were allowed to be stored under a major bridge.  Were these cables for the DOT that they were going to use, or was a private company storing these here for their use?  Either way, this was very stupid!  So, we are now talking about up to six months of major traffic gridlock in the Atlanta Metro, up to six months!

Two major traffic corridors to get into downtown Atlanta from the very crowded northern suburbs are now cut-off.  You can’t take I-85 north of downtown or Georgia 400 into downtown Atlanta.  So, the only two alternatives to get into downtown Atlanta now involves getting onto the Interstate 285 loop.  You can either take the loop south to get to I-20, or you can take the loop west to I-75.  I-285, especially between I-85 and I-75 on the northside of Atlanta is already a jam packed traffic cluster fest every day.  So, let’s add even more traffic to this, yeah its not good!

Now, there is a parallel freeway next I-85 called Georgia 13 or the Buford Spring Connector.  There are ramps on either side of the bridge collapse that could provide a local temporary detour to I-85.

But let’s be honest, those ramps are only one lane and Georgia 13 is only two lanes.  So, it’s like draining a gallon of water with a tiny straw.  I am glad this option is here, but this detour will not be the best solution for the up to 250,000 cars who travel through this section every day.  I-285 or better yet using mass transit will be the best option.

So, with a major traffic corridor shutdown for months.  I want to talk about two things in the Atlanta Metro where I will say, I told you so!  First off, the Atlanta Braves will soon be playing their games in their brand new Suntrust Park.  The park is in one of the worst traffic chokepoints in the entire southeastern USA, the I-75 / I-285 interchange in NW Atlanta.  I wrote a post explaining why I never liked the new Atlanta Braves stadium location, and now I can smile and nod my head.  Now, with even more traffic that will have to go this way to get to work, go home, or run errands, good luck trying to get to the ballpark!  Why was no major mass transit options planned when this park was in the planning stages?

As for mass transit, Atlanta has a subpar mass transit system.  Sure, there is MARTA but it mostly runs inside the I-285 loop except for a portion of the northern route.  With a lack of commuter rail and major bus options in the Atlanta suburbs, people are now going to be bitten in the rear end for not planning mass transit properly!  What will the political fallout be over this bridge collapse and the lack of good mass transit options like light rail or commuter rail?  One thing is for sure, Atlanta needs more mass transit options, and the people living in the suburbs can get over the poorer people using it and coming to the suburbs!

Well, one can wish that we can just fly over this bridge gap like these just some good ole’ boys.

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Crowdsourcing Mornings: 2016 Atlanta Film Festival


Geek Alabama Crowdsourcing Mornings

This is Crowdsourcing Mornings! This post takes place every weekday morning and highlights one crowdsourcing project I liked from Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or other crowdsourcing websites.

If they’ve learned one thing in 39 years, it’s that connection with a filmmaker dramatically magnifies the impact of his or her film.  Back this project and you can take credit for some of that impact. With this money, they are able to fly filmmakers from across the world to their festival and make those important connections between artist and audience.

In case you haven’t heard, the Atlanta Film Festival is the city’s premier film event—a 10-day showcase for 200+ films and the people who make them. In addition to feature and short film screenings, the Festival hosts parties, a 5-day Creative Conference, the highly popular Sound & Vision night of music and film, red carpet events, a screenplay competition, and more. Now turning 40-years-old, the Atlanta Film Festival is one of the longest-running and most prestigious film festivals in the world. The 2016 festival runs April 1st through April 10th.

In the past, the festival was lucky enough to receive donated flights and hotel rooms (or the money to buy them) so that they could bring filmmakers, actors, distributors, press and other members of the industry to Atlanta to participate.  They are still blessed to receive gifts and donations through generous sponsors, but maintaining a strong hospitality budget is difficult as a non-profit arts organization. Filmmaker participation is an essential part of the festival experience, and they want to return the travel and lodging budget to its former strength. All funds this campaign collects will bring filmmakers & industry members to Atlanta in April.

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As of November 19th, this project has raised around $14,000 of their $40,000 goal. This project only has 26 days left to raise the $40,000 or it will not be funded!  For a pledge of $20, you will get to be on the backers jury.  For a pledge of $40, you will get their MovieHopper Card, be a part of their holiday and ATLFF Backers Mixer parties, and be on the backers jury.  To learn more and to pledge money, go to:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/atlff/2016-atlanta-film-festival

The Evening Post: Thirty-Minute Dragon Con 2015 Cosplay Music Video


Geek Alabama Evening Post

Tonight, I present a nearly 30 minute video featuring some of the best costumes and cosplayers from Dragon Con 2015.  The video is put together by beatdownboogie, and you can tell the people at Dragon Con did a really good job with their costumes, enjoy!

The Evening Post: Dragon Con 2015 Beat Down Boogie Cosplay Videos


Geek Alabama Evening Post

Tonight, I present two videos from the YouTube channel beatdownboogie.  The first video features an epic cosplay starting with the parade and all throughout the Dragon Con event.  The second video is a cosplay music video from Dragon Con, enjoy!

Weekend Planning: DragonCon 2015 In Atlanta


Geek Alabama Weekend Planning

Who’s ready for another geek/nerd fest in Atlanta this weekend?  Once again, downtown Atlanta will be filled with thousands of geeks and nerds for DragonCon 2015.  This year, the convention’s organizers are anticipating 65,000 spectators.  And, if you need any reasons why to attend DragonCon, enjoy my presentation below!

DragonCon is the largest multimedia, pop culture convention focusing on science fiction & fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe.  And some big guests for 2015 includes Star Wars’ Peter Mayhew, CW’s Arrow actor Stephen Amell, Battlestar Galactica’s Edward James Olmos, Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols and Games of Thrones stars Kristian Nairn and Julian Glover, and Felicia Day from Geek and Sundry. This is just some of the 400 guests you can see!

The DragonCon annual parade for 2015 will be the biggest ever. The festivities will begin at 10 am at Peachtree Street and Linden Avenue.  From there, the parade will march down Peachtree Street before taking a left on Andrew Young International followed by another left at Peachtree Center Avenue, arriving in front of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel.  Here is a map of the parade route.

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As always, there are a lot of big things going on at DragonCon 2015!  Here is a list of the  featured appearances, here is a list of the musical performers, here is a list of events, and of course there is also gaming, art show, workshops, artist alley, and a ton of tracks!  You will not get bored at DragonCon 2015!

Learn more about DragonCon at: http://www.dragoncon.org/