I make lists. Now brought to you by information and outrage.
Has Hwy 78 in Alabama gotten any better? I wrote this in 2000 for Lonely Planet and I haven't driven it since then: The Highway 78 BluesWhen planning an itinerary that includes the Shoals, Memphis, northern Mississippi, Birmingham or the Sipsey Wilderness, one might be tempted to use Hwy 78. On a map, it appears to be a major US highway and the shortest distance between a number of points. The maps don’t show how the highway, between Hamilton and Jasper, is a patchwork of two-lane and unfinished four-lane stretches that funnels Memphis/Birmingham/Atlanta truck traffic through dangerously congested areas. Between Jasper and Birmingham, Hwy 78 is a hideous gauntlet of strip malls, inconsistent speed limits and poorly-timed traffic lights that spoil what would be a convenient and scenic country drive. Alternate east-west routes are Hwy 72 and Hwy 278, both of which connect with I-65.--
It has gotten SO much better. From Birmingham, the time that you are on a highway with traffic lights is much shorter. I've been doing that drive once every year or two since 1994, and this year it was the quickest ever. Though I must admit that I miss driving past the Boobie Trap.
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