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How Does Atlanta Rank for Traffic Congestion?

In 2019, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute released the Urban Mobility Report containing a comprehensive traffic analysis of the United States. The report confirmed what most Atlanta drivers suspected – traffic congestion in this city is among the worst in the country.

Atlanta Rank for Traffic Congestion Data

The 2019 Urban Mobility Report listed various congestion measure values for each urban area, including Atlanta.

Yearly Delay per Auto Commuter

The yearly delay per commuter is the total additional travel time divided by the number of people who use private vehicles. In Atlanta, the annual delay per commuter was 77 hours in 2019 – the eighth highest in the United States.

According to this data, the average commuter spends the equivalent of about 3.2 days per year in traffic congestion in Atlanta. With a yearly delay time of 119 hours, the Los Angeles – Long Beach urban area ranks the highest.

Travel Time Index

The travel time index (TTI) ratio is the average travel time during peak periods to the average travel time when traffic is flowing freely. Along with Boston, MA, Atlanta ranks nineteenth in the country with a TTI of 1.30. According to this value, a trip taking 30 minutes in free-flow conditions will take 39 minutes (30 minutes x 1.30) during rush hour.

Excess Fuel per Auto Commuter

According to the Urban Mobility Report, Atlanta’s congestion increases fuel consumption per commuter by 31 gallons per year. In terms of excess fuel consumption, Atlanta ranks seventh in the United States, along with Boston, Seattle, and Houston.

Congestion Cost per Auto Commuter

Congestion costs per commuter equal the sum of excess fuel and the value of extra travel time per person-hour ($18.12). With a yearly congestion cost of $1,653 per auto commuter, Atlanta ranks fifth in the country for this measurement.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Traffic Congestion in Atlanta

The 2019 Urban Mobility Report is not without its limitations, and some argue that the report is not accurate. For example, Atlanta drivers may find it hard to believe that a thirty-minute trip is only nine minutes longer during rush hour. However, the data gives some valuable insights into Atlanta’s nationwide ranking for traffic congestion.

Another issue with the report is that it doesn’t reflect the traffic volume changes resulting from COVID-19 restrictions. For instance, during March 2020, there was no congestion on the 75/78 or Downtown Connector through Atlanta.

While traffic volumes have picked up since the initial lockdown, the coronavirus pandemic’s long-lasting effects on traffic volumes are significant. Organizations realized that having employees work from home reduces costs. Unfortunately, lockdown restrictions also resulted in high levels of unemployment, which contributes to lower traffic volumes.

Causes of Traffic Congestion

Various situations can cause traffic congestion. Below are the most common causes of traffic congestion on Atlanta roads:

  •       Road obstacles forcing two or more lanes to merge into one
  •       Traffic lights that are out of sync or defective
  •       High levels of foot traffic over busy roads

Solutions to Alleviate Road Congestion in Atlanta

Generally speaking, congestion is due to traffic volumes that are too high for the road infrastructure. As America’s southeast hub, Atlanta is currently the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the country with 5.9 million residents. According to projections, Atlanta will have a population of 8.6 million by 2050.

To alleviate congestion on Atlanta roads, the Georgia Department of Transportation revised the implementation timeline of its Major Mobility Investment Program. The program involves constructing regional express lanes, improvements to interstate 285, and interchange reconstruction projects.

The state of Georgia and port authorities are also working together to reduce commercial vehicle traffic on commuter routes. Some of the solutions include rail expansion projects and the development of the Appalachian Regional Port and other intermodal facilities.

Safe Driving in Atlanta Rank for Traffic Congestion

If you are in a traffic jam, it is critical to follow the fundamentals of safe driving. Congested traffic typically moves slowly, which increases the risk for rear-end collisions and other accidents.

When finding yourself in congested traffic, don’t drive aggressively. Maintain a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, and don’t brake abruptly. Before turning or switching lanes, use your blinkers and check your blind spots for cyclists or other vehicles.

If you were in an accident, you need professional legal assistance from a car accident lawyer, even if the accident was not your fault.

At Greathouse Trial Law, we can assist you with all legal aspects of a car accident. Our designated personal injury attorney will evaluate your situation, help you file a personal injury suit, and negotiate settlements with the insurance company. We will also help you make informed decisions throughout the process.

Schedule a free consultation with our auto accident attorney at 678-310-2827 to find out if you have a case. Remember, Greathouse Trial Law works on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay us until we make a recovery on your behalf.

Copyright© 2020. Greathouse Trial Law. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Greathouse Trial Law
260 Peachtree Street NW
Suite 803
Atlanta, GA 30303
(678) 310-2827

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Riah Greathouse

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