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6:04 am EST 44°F (7°C) in Atlanta, GA
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There are a couple of reasons I haven’t updated this in a week: (1) I wanted to keep the most recent update up for a while, in part because of its topical and temporal value; but also because I recently spent $40 to purchase 5,000 “credits” (guaranteed visits to this site) from BlogExplosion, and wanted visitors thusly directed here to see what I think is some of my best writing. Perhaps more importantly, (2) I have been insanely busy, having driven some 2,350 miles in 4½ days to haul this load from Tulare, CA, to its destination here just off the Lakewood Freeway in Atlanta.
That leads me into a tangential rant: Atlanta’s apparent obsession with re-naming highways after important figures in the civil-rights movement can really cause visitors, truckers, and other non-local motorists a lot of trouble. A rookie truck driver hauling this load and knowing absolutely nothing about Atlanta, given only the directions this customer sent to my company, would blow right past Exit 5 on the Perimeter (Interstate 285) and keep on circling the city, searching signage in vain for “Lakewood Freeway.” At least I know enough about Atlanta to know that they re-named the highway, which bears the Georgia State Routes 154 and 166 designations, after Arthur B. Langford, Jr. in 2000, and that signage now points to “Langford Parkway” instead.
It’s perfectly fine to memorialize legends of the civil-rights movement, and I have no problem with that basic concept. What I have the problem with is the way Atlanta executes it: they seem to completely erase any trace of the former name of the road. Even six years after the Lakewood-to-Langford re-naming of SR 154/166, a lot of people — even native Atlantans — still refer to the road as the Lakewood Freeway. The signage should somehow reflect both names; even a “FORMERLY LAKEWOOD FWY” plate on overhead signs, or a small roadside “LAKEWOOD FWY NEXT RIGHT” sign would do quite nicely. The same thing also should be done on Interstate 20, where the name “Ralph David Abernathy Freeway” supplanted the former West Freeway and East Freeway names.
Perhaps the best way to name infrastructure in honor of civil-rights heroes is the way Chicago does it: simply applying honorary names to streets which keep their actual name in the process. The street signs stay up (e.g., “Cicero Ave” sign blades), but small signs that say “HONORARY” above the honoree’s name are installed on the same poles about six inches higher. Also, it might not be a bad idea to restrict honorary re-naming to non-road infrastructure, such as was the case with the recent addition of Maynard Jackson’s name to Atlanta’s airport — it is now officially Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, bearing the names of both the Atlanta mayor who began construction of the airport and Atlanta’s first African-American mayor.
In any case, American democracy is about to take the last blow it can withstand, as most of our so-called “Democratic” Senators are apparently not going to support a filibuster of soon-to-be Supreme Injustice Samuel Alito. They don’t care that Americans’ constitutional rights are being sent down the river and out to sea, never to be seen again; they have sold out the American people, and they are no better than Republicans at this point. Those New Zealand immigration ideas I was talking about late last summer may need to be dusted off at this point.
That’s about all I have to report for now, other than the aforementioned ton of driving lately.