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Ever taken a wrong turn in Atlanta

If you’ve lived in Atlanta longer than about a day and a half, chances are pretty good that you have discovered navigating Atlanta’s road system can be a bit challenging and I’m pretty sure you didn’t need me to tell you that.

I’ll never forget my first day driving in Atlanta as someone from another city. I, as often happens to drivers unfamiliar with a city’s layout, missed the street onto which I wanted to turn. No problem, I reasoned. I’ll just go down to the next street, make the block and get back to where I wanted to be in the first place. I was driving through the neighborhood known in Atlanta as “The Prado” so I’m sure you know how that maneuver ended.

The truth is, Atlanta, at least the parts closer to downtown, has never been an easy city in which to get around. There are lots of explanations given to the navigation challenged and the one most often sited has to do with the 50 or 60 or 212 streets that begin with the word “Peachtree.” But it’s more than than just the names of Atlanta’s streets.

Atlanta was not a planned city, it just sort of happened and rapidly. So, at least initially, not much thought was given to the layout of streets. Also, our city started life as a railroad town, meaning the paths of the train tracks dictated, in large part, how a lot of downtown Atlanta was laid out. And there is a third factor that enters into the equation and, as you’ve probably guessed, that is the subject of this week’s Stories of Atlanta.

Lance Russell

Lance Russell is an Atlanta-based filmmaker and media communicator who, for over three decades, has been entrusted by clients to tell their stories. A seasoned producer with an innate ability to cut to the heart of the matter, Lance’s instincts are tailor-made for today’s “media bite” culture. Brief, poignant and always entertaining, Lance’s current passion is bringing Atlanta’s colorful and inspiring past to life with his “rest of the story” style video series, Stories of Atlanta. “History’s best communicators,” says Lance, “have always been storytellers. It’s in our DNA. ‘Once upon a time’ is how we got to where we are now.”


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  1. John Burger March 24, 2016 10:09 pm

    Seriously true. No rhyme or reason.Report

  2. andrew March 25, 2016 10:47 am

    the neighborhood known as The Prado? You mean… Ansley Park?Report

  3. Lance Russell March 25, 2016 5:47 pm

    @andrew Andrew, yes I think that’s probably right.  Many years ago, as a new Atlantan, someone told me that area was called the Prado and it has just stuck with me.  Maybe I’m the only one who uses that reference but most seem to know what I’m talking about when I mention it.  It’s a beautiful section of town, just a little challenging to master, at least for me…but then, I can’t even master getting the name right.  Thanks for watching, it is appreciated.Report

  4. Dayla E Baldwin March 25, 2016 8:05 pm

    I always say …” as long as you can find Peachtree St or Piedmont RD, you’ll be alright”Report


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