Downtown Connector (Exterior Built Environment Description)

The Downtown Connector (75/85) is an interstate that stretches seven miles from Langford Parkway interchange to Brookwood Interchange; and it was built in the late 40s or early 50s, according to the few sources I could find. It looks like a typical highway, but there are a few interesting things that I noticed. I observed and recorded the presence of some homeless people sleeping and apparently living underneath an overpass; they were tucked away in the upper corners, sleeping under blankets on slabs of concrete. Apparently, they’ve grown accustomed to sleeping underneath overpasses, despite the roar of cars rolling overhead, and the smell of gasoline and burnt rubber. I also observed and recorded lots of trash and even glass on the sidewalk underneath this particular overpass. The monochromatic grey color scheme of the concrete and metal coupled with the sight of dirt, lack of light, trash, and homeless people made this site very gloomy, unwelcoming, and imposing.

Under The Overpass (AVI video)

To clarify, I don’t mean to say I don’t like homeless people. I just feel sorry for them–and I realize that rests on the faulty pretense that they’re not happy. Regardless, things looked a little better once I stood side-by-side with the interstate, but not by much. But before I go into that, let me just say that it was a little difficult for me to reach the side of the interstate because of fences that in some cases had barbed wire. Luckily for me, I found a damaged part of a fence that allowed me to cross. The extra light did improve the atmosphere of the place, but it was overwritten by the sight of a two-directional seven-mile long slab of metal and concrete with cars racing down it towards home or work, conjuring in me ideas of monotony, boredom, and impersonality. To me it just looks like an ugly giant machine.

Next to The Downtown Connector (AVI video)

The only thing human about this site are the homeless, the graffiti, and the foot prints in the sidewalk. I see these people and artifacts wrestling with this machine. Despite the lifeless highway, there are some people who live underneath it. And despite the artificiality and durability of concrete, there are some who spray paint over it with human expression—or walk in it before it settles. I guess I’m not much of a city guy.


Downtown Connector 75/85 Digital Records


Under The Overpass (video download)

Here is a 19-second AVI video of the underside of the Downtown Connector (75/85). Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of concrete and the overpass is wide. I saw a lot of trash on the sidewalk. And there were a few homeless people living in the upper corners of the underpass.

Next to The Downtown Connector (video download)

Here is a 34-second AVI video of the side of the Downtown Connector (75/85). It was noisy with the bustling of cars, and I would sometimes get a whiff of gasoline. The video also contains some graffiti, more trash, and a broken chain link fence that I  passed through. Don’t mind my babbling in the video. I thought my phone would be able to pick up my voice but I was wrong.



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To get this picture of graffiti I had to climb up the slope of the overpass. It was taken at around 5:30 PM, so the sun was beginning to set, and its light accentuated the art. I’m not sure what it says but I think it looks neat. It serves as a nice contrast against the concrete.


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This is another piece of graffiti I found near the overpass. It’s not as welcoming as the first piece, but I thought it was interesting that it was done on a fence. The person who drew it may have been making a statement against order, establishment, etc.


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This is a picture of some foot prints and writing in the cement of a sidewalk near the Downtown Connector. I found this scene interesting for some same reason I found the aforementioned picture interesting. It can be seen as a statement against urban expansion, authority. Or it could have just been the mixture of  clumsy people not watching where they’re going and those who wanted a few of their words (or names) immortalized.


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I took this picture to contrast all of the pictures I took of so-called insubordinate scenes. I found this sign near the footprints and as you can see it warns people that it is against the law to resell tickets (i.e. baseball) within 2,700 feet of Turner Field.


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Here is a picture of some more graffiti on a street lamp near the Downtown Connector. There are also some stickers here that I don’t understand the meaning of. One of which is the head of man smoking a pipe, wearing a camo hat. Unlike the graffiti in my other pictures, I can actually read this one. It reads “mega”.