LISTEN: A Father-Daughter Dance With I-95 Destiny
Sixteen-year-old Nina Galoppi says she and her friends simply call I-95 "The Big Road." Many of them avoid it altogether, opting instead for slower, smaller roads to get around.
"It's a really scary road when you think about it," Galoppi says. "That’s where the adults, that’s where trucks, everyone drives there. You don’t want to drive there if you don’t have to."
And yet, The Big Road has come to represent everything to Galoppi. The independence to visit her Nonna in Boynton Beach, her Nana in Fort Lauderdale. The freedom to take a sisters trip to Orlando. Maybe most importantly, proof to her parents that she's growing up.
“In my group of friends, it’s like, if you can drive a big road like that, you’ve successfully shifted into driving," Galoppi says. "Like, that’s it. You can be trusted with any car.”
Since July, Galoppi has been asking -- begging -- her parents to teach her how to drive on I-95. Mom's too nervous. Dad has found excuse after excuse to put off the inevitable. ("I figure she’ll actually be driving by herself by the time she’s 35," Fabio Galoppi jokes. "So I can push it off as much as I can.")
In a two-part series, WLRN-Miami Herald News will be following Nina Galoppi as she attempts to conquer the colossus that is Interstate 95.
Below, listen to part one of the journey. We explain how Nina's ticket to ride was algebra. And why orange isn't the new black. Pink is.