Sunday, August 30, 2009

Traffic Monstrosity

Spaghetti Junction in Atlanta, GA

Spaghetti Junction on I-85 Heading South

While in the car the other day, I heard a traffic report on the radio advising me of traffic problems on "Spaghetti Junction", which prompted me to do a blog entry about it.

The Tom Moreland Exchange, known colloquially as "Spaghetti Junction" to locals, is what's known as a "stack interchange". It is the intersection of I-85 and I-285, along with several access roads, situated just north of Atlanta, Georgia.

I first encountered Spaghetti Junction in 1985 when I moved to this area from Texas. During that time, construction was ongoing, converting this interchange from a traditional cloverleaf into the fuckup you see today, for the purposes of reducing congestion. The construction continued for several years after that, which made trips into Atlanta a nightmare, especially during rush hour. At that time, I dubbed this area as "The Fuckup" or "The Screwup" (depending on whom I was speaking with), finding the term "Spaghetti Junction" a rather pale description.

It's the type of interchange where one wrong turn will make you end up in New York City with no clear recollection of how you got there. Even worse would be when you'd end up getting stuck in an endless loop going round and round this monstrosity, wondering if you'd have to call someone to bring you some food and gas while you tried to figure out how to finally get free of it. I've even heard urban legends about babies being delivered while making repeated circuits of Spaghetti Junction, while trying to find the off ramp to the hospital. I'd not be surprised if Jimmy Hoffa was even here endlessly circling the various access roads trying to find a way out.


No comments: