Atlanta is notorious for stress-inducing traffic, and it’s going to be even worse since one of the busiest roads collapsed on March 30th due to a fire.
Collapses (read: “failures”) have their way of teaching us. So, I want to take a moment to share a few reactions from this debacle.
Enabling New Day-to-Day Experiences
Atlanta’s traffic is well known, but to be honest, traffic is on par with other major cities. The difference is perhaps volume due to our limited public transportation options. (And poor take-rate for the options that do exist.)
This new challenge will motivate many daily commuters to try travel alternatives. The key here is how this will affect the day-to-day. By integrating public transportation into the daily lives of so many for an extended period, commuters can more accurately reflect on how public transportation can affect their lives.
Too often, in the past, public transportation services like MARTA have discounted transportation for special events. Commuters for special events, then, rarely consider MARTA for anything but special events. They certainly would not associate the ease of daily commuting when their limited experience includes jam-packed trains.
Forcing the day-to-day can be a real eye-opener for many.
This is the New Normal
Mark McDonough, commissioner of the Georgia State Patrol’s Department of Public Safety came out asking commuters to be patient citing repairs could take months.
One of the best parts about his address was cutting to the chase – “… get up earlier. Find a new route. This is new normal.” There is no value in whining and crying about what happened. It’s happened. Adapt.
Where and What We Can Learn from Collapse
There was a joke going around that this was actually the second major Atlanta collapse this year – the Atlanta Falcons’ major Super Bowl crash being the first.
Atlanta entrepreneur Jon Birdsong shared this post – “Why Atlanta’s Collapse(s) Are Good For Us”. In this post, he reflected on how the Falcons’ collapse made him reframe resiliency by studying the orchestrator of the greatest Super Bowl comeback ever – Tom Brady.
Birdsong read books and articles about Tom Brady, and adapted much of his own lifestyle to be more like Tom’s. Everything from daily habits like diet and exercise have changed Jon for the greater. Birdsong credits the Falcons’ loss as the motivator.
Had the Falcons won, Birdsong would have been ecstatic and hugely supportive. However, the loss has given him a new way to look at life beyond the game.
Life happens. Sh!t happens. Adapt, and keep going. This is the new normal.