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

Good News Fridays: The Viral Angels Among Us Dogs Hugging Photo


Geek Alabama Good News Fridays

I just love this picture from Georgia!  Two dogs in a north Georgia animal shelter were only hours away from being euthanized.  An animal group named  Angels Among Us Pet Rescue took a picture of the dogs named Kala and Keira.  The great part of this photo was the two dogs were hugging each other behind the bars.  I mean they were hugging, just like they knew what was about to happen.  Before I go further, I do believe that dogs can understand some things us humans say.  And one of those words dogs do understand, is euthanasia.

The rescue group did the right thing and posted this photo on their social media profiles.  And it went viral quickly!  I mean, a photo like this below is going to pull the heartstrings of any animal lover out there!

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Along with the image above, a caption was beautifully written about these two dogs!

I’m Kala. This is Keira. We’re so scared in here. The people working in the shelters see how scared we are but just told each other that today is our deadline. We have to have someone rescue us or we’ll be “next.” Keira is black and not a “real boxer,” just a mix. She’s so brave and tells me it will be okay no matter what happens. She tells me to be brave too but I don’t know if I can be. Can you see our faces. Keira knows what will happen. You can see it in her eyes. She’s putting on a brave face for sure but I can feel her heart beating fast while I’m clinging to her. If no one saves us, someone will take her away from me. I’ll see her as she goes down the hallway. She won’t come back and I’ll cry. They’ll come for me next and I won’t be as brave. We’ve comforted each other while we were here. She gave me hope when I had none. Now it’s over.

The great thing is these dogs got a second chance!  Just two hours after the photo was posted on social media, the two dogs were rescued and taken to a vet before relocating to a foster home.  It looks like these two dogs will have a happy life after all!  This was another picture posted to their social media feeds later that day!

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THEY ARE SAFE!!! There are no words to tell you how happy we are that these two best friends are safe and together! Thank you for your shares, donations and offers! Just look at these two!!! This is why we rescue.  It is so important that we encourage others to spay and neuter and understand that pets are a lifetime commitment. It is so easy to say, why won’t the shelter do something but they are the ones reaching out to us begging for help. In a perfect world they would be empty as every animal should be loved and in a home. We appreciate the shelter getting this picture to us and allowing us to share it with our followers! We can do amazing things when we all work together!
Hugging Dog photo credit: Malena Evans

And here is an update posted today to their social media feeds!  The two dogs are very happy with their foster home!  And here is the amazing part, because of the donations and support, Angels Among Us Pet Rescue was able to save 52 dogs this week, 52!  That means 52 dogs that could have been gone right now are instead getting a second chance, wonderful!

But the mission is not over for Angels Among Us Pet Rescue!  They still need donations, they badly need people who can host a foster pet.  And of course they still need people who can adopt!  But the most important thing, the need to spay and neuter your pets!  It’s that important!

So, learn more about Angels Among Us Pet Rescue at: https://www.angelsrescue.org/

Make a donation to them at: http://www.angelsrescue.org/donate

If you live in the Atlanta Metro, apply to be a foster home at:  http://www.angelsrescue.org/foster

And of course, apply to adopt at: https://www.angelsrescue.org/adopt/

Follow them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/angelsrescue?fref=nf and on Twitter @angelsrescue.

Learn More About The Southern Fried Gameroom Expo 2015


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From June 19-21, Atlanta is hosting the Southern Fried Gameroom Expo!  If you’re reading this then, chances are, you remember a time when the arcades were king. It was a time when a quarter meant life or death, when a darkened room was only lit by an 8-bit glow, and when chimes, bleeps, and bloops called to you from across the mall to play “just one more game.” For the most part, arcades may be gone, but they’re not forgotten. We remember. Do you?

The Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo is a 3-day convention focused solely on classic arcades, pinball machines, and home gamerooms. The expo, held June 19-21 at the Marriott Century Center in Atlanta, GA, boasts over 100 full-sized arcade and pinball machines, numerous consoles, vendors, speakers, movie screenings, and more!  They are pleased to be an official stop for the Professional & Amateur Pinball Association (PAPA) Circuit Tour! The event is a family-friendly event that will be fun for all ages.

They created the Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo to share the nostalgia and skill of the game with long-time video game and pinball enthusiasts, and to spread the joy of discovery with new fans of all ages. The support they have received from the gaming community has been nothing short of amazing. Thank you so much for being a part of the Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo – YOU are why they built this event.

This event is a part of the Player One, LLC, who is made up of a group of five arcade and pinball collectors who live in the metro area and, just like you, want an expo that the mid-south can call their very own. Joel, Dana, Patrick, Preston, and Shannon created the Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo to share the nostalgia and skill of the game with long-time arcade and pinball enthusiasts, and to spread the joy of discovery with new fans of all ages.

The event will have a free play game area, areas where you can bring and play your own games, a pinball tournament, movies, speakers, and more!  If you love playing games, this event is for you!  The Southern Fried Gameroom Expo weekend passes are $50 for adults or $30 for kids.  Or there are daily passes ranging from $15-$25.  Learn more at:  http://www.southernfriedgameroomexpo.com/

Google Fiber, Coming Soon To Atlanta And Nashville


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If you are a Google nut, you are very excited about this news!  Google announced that they are bringing their Google Fiber service to Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte, and Raleigh-Durham.  In Atlanta, areas like Smyrna, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, Decatur, Hapeville, College Park, East Point, and Avondale Estates will be a part of the action.  In Nashville, the entire city will benefit, and will join Chattanooga in Tennessee who has their own super fast fiber internet service.  So, what can you expect with service from Google Fiber?

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You will get one gigabit internet service, with speeds up to 100 times faster than today’s basic broadband.  Also, you can also get internet TV service with 150 channels.  Internet and TV would cost around $130 a month, with internet only costing around $70 a month.  This is exciting news, and with the already good fiber networks in places like Chattanooga, the south is rapidly becoming one of the fastest internet connected regions in the Untied States and the world.  But, what about Alabama?

Yes, places like Opelika have fiber internet, but if the state is going to grow, bigger places like Birmingham and Huntsville will need to get fiber internet service.  Let’s hope Google will expand into these places soon.  For the new places like Atlanta and Nashville, it will take a year or two to get Google Fiber installed, but be prepared for some great internet speeds!