It's true, I don't get out much. It's been a while since I hopped in the car to drive to another booming metropolis. After six hours on the truck-infested interstates to get up to the Greater Louisville, Kentucky area, I was met with Atlanta-like traffic. What shocked me was that I was not shocked. After all, isn't mind-boggling traffic supposed to happen only in places like Atlanta, LA and Miami? Apparently I'm quite wrong because traffic is everywhere in the big city and guess what, beautiful Louisville is no exception.
Obviously there are a lot of folks in vibrant Louisville, KY - which by the way is nestled on the Ohio River . I am simply blown away by the area's beauty. So yes, "traffic happens so get over it!" I say to myself. I'm trying to tell myself that more these days as I deal with traffic in the ATL which gets worse by the second. On one hand, I'm angry with how much time I spend in my car and on the other, I cannot do anything about traffic jams.
I'm leaving another great city out of the mix. In order for one to get up to Louisville from the ATL using the conventional I-75, I-24, I-65 method, one needs to pass through Nashville, Tennessee. Here's another wonderful city in the South which has, you guessed it: traffic! As I was heading back, I was caught in a mystery jam about 30 miles north of Nashville around Millersville. Me and the weary Greater Nashvillians were slowly easing down the road towards the Music City right into the bright morning sun. At one point, two Millersville cop cars sped down the emergency lanes. After 25 minutes, things picked up and about 10 minutes later, I joined the Nashville commuters in their rush hour. It typically takes about six and a half hours to do the ATL to Louisville drive, but sometimes Nashville can add another 45 minutes. I cannot complain since I wasn't in a huge hurry to get back.
I'm not one to stop too much on a long drive, but I enjoyed stopping in Murfreesboro, TN on the way to Louisville. Gas was a bit cheaper in Murfreesboro which easily got me through Tennessee, into Kentucky, past Bowling Green's Fruit of the Loom world headquarters and into Louisville. I had plenty of fuel on the way back to make it to Manchester, Tennessee, home to the Bonnaroo festival. Since Manchester is the halfway point between Nashville and Chattanooga, it's a good stopping off point. I must say that even in late autumn/early winter, the route from Nashville to Chattanooga is filled with spectacular scenery including Monteagle, the Sequatchie River and Lake Nickajack.
As with any trip, there is home sweet home to get back to in our lives. I approached the ATL Metro with incredibly heavy traffic around the 1p hour on a Monday. It was Monday folks, where was everyone going? As I headed towards the beloved ramp to the Cobb Cloverleaf, my car took a mud-bath due to the heavy construction in the area. Mammoth ramps are being constructed up and down this Georgia-red-clay-soaked nightmare. Once my wipers cleared enough mud from my windshield, I noticed the new 'Atlanta' Braves stadium construction site. I hope that I will never ever be forced to go to a game over there. Aside from this area looking hideous, I cannot imagine what an unmitigated disaster it will be when the ballpark is in full swing. What were they ever thinking with this mess? With the Cobb Cloverleaf in my rear-view mirror, I headed towards another disaster in December known as the Perimeter Mall area. The ramp to Ashford Dunwoody was backed up worse than a clogged shower drain in North Georgia. As one 'Ashford Dunwoody ramp participant' decided to get out of line and join the rest of us on 285, a speedy SUV was ready to clock the little sedan - which then quickly rejoined the line on the Ashford Dunwoody ramp. Brilliant, right?
There's one that I discovered on my recent trip to Louisville, Kentucky: we all have the same issues in our cities. We are not alone.