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FA R A ND AWAY THE

BEST MUSIC A L OF T HE Y E A R ! ” N PR

Where were you when I-85 collapsed? A little before 7 p.m. on the evening of March 30, I got the first in a series of text messages from friends and family asking if I was driving on Interstate 85 or had heard about the disaster unfolding there. I had no idea what any of the messages were about. I was out for a long, leisurely stroll on the BeltLine Eastside Trail and through Inman Park. I had left my apartment around 5:30 p.m., when the fire underneath I-85 was just starting up. When the interstate collapsed, I was admiring the giant koi fish in the pond at Inman Quarter. I checked on social media and saw that I had been seriously out of the news loop over the past 90 minutes and rushed back home to find an inbox full of alerts and news releases from the city and GDOT. The news of the I-85 collapse was on every news channel and was quickly filling up my timeline on Facebook as people started marking themselves as “safe” during the disaster. I spent the next three or four hours updating INtown’s website and posting to social media trying to keep readers abreast of the situation, including the traffic nightmare caused by the collapse. A month later, I’m still writing about it on an almost daily basis as construction crews work day and night to get the interstate open and a series of other unfortunate traffic events (chemical spills on the Downtown Connector, the buckling of I-20 westbound) have only compounded the misery. A few months ago, I wrote about how I was feeling guilty Collin Kelley collin@atlantaintown- about using the GPS navigation app WAZE because it was paper.com adding unnecessary traffic to neighborhood streets. I can tell you, faithful readers, that my guilt disappeared the first time I had to navigate around the collapse site to go and visit a friend in Duluth. I’ve discovered some interesting routes through various neighborhoods to get me out of the Old Fourth Ward and points north without tearing out too much of my remaining hair. A few weeks post-collapse, I had to put my car in the shop for a week and I did not miss it. I took MARTA, Lyft and walked even more. Now, I’m thinking about giving my up car completely in a couple of years. My colleague Dyana Bagby recently bought a Nissan Leaf, and I must admit I have a bit of electric car envy. It seems like the perfect, green-friendly solution for short trips when a car is actually necessary. Not buying gas, having to take my car in Photo by Phil Mosier for emissions I-85 reconstruction is expected to complete later this month. inspection or oil changes also sounds good. I’m hoping that the surge in ridership on MARTA after the I-85 collapse will continue and it will encourage more stations and transit options around the city. Since I opened this month’s column with a story about being on a walk, I’ll also close with one. Back in February, I wrote about my health issues and my goal to lose weight. I went for a check up with my doctor on April 3 and was thrilled to learn that I have lost 77 pounds in less than a year. I’m working on shedding the remaining 23 pounds I set out to lose as spring and summer progresses. I appreciate all the kind words and support from readers who reached out to me after I shared my story. And while I don’t wish any more bridge collapses on the city, I do encourage all of you get out and walk, try taking public transit, ride a bike, carpool and use other alternate means of transportation. It’s time to put our personal cars in park.

EDITOR’S LETTER

W I NN E R ! BR OA DWA Y.C O M ’ S A U DI E N C E C HOIC E AWA R D F OR BE S T M U S IC A L

MAY 16-21

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4 May 2017 |

At l a n t a I N t o w n Pa p e r. c o m

May 2017, Atlanta INtown  

New restaurants, a resurgence in the condo and townhome market, spring arts and culture events, and a pictorial on the Atlanta BeltLine expa...

May 2017, Atlanta INtown  

New restaurants, a resurgence in the condo and townhome market, spring arts and culture events, and a pictorial on the Atlanta BeltLine expa...