In 2019 the Texas A&M Transportation Institute published the Urban Mobility Report with a comprehensive traffic analysis of the USA. The report confirmed what most drivers suspected in Atlanta – traffic jams in that city are among the worst in the country.
Traffic congestion data in Atlanta
The 2019 Urban Mobility Report listed various congestion metric values for each metropolitan area, including Atlanta.
Annual delay per commuter
The annual delay per commuter is the total additional travel time divided by the number of people using 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 Atlanta commuter spends the equivalent of 3.2 days per year in traffic jams. With an annual delay time of 119 hours, the Los Angeles – Long Beach metropolitan area is the highest.
Travel time index
The TTI ratio (Travel Time Index) is the average travel time at peak times to the average travel time with free traffic. Along with Boston, MA, Atlanta ranks nineteenth in the country with a TTI of 1.30. According to this value, a trip of 30 minutes in free flow conditions during rush hour is 39 minutes (30 minutes x 1.30).
Excess fuel per commuter
Atlanta congestion increases fuel economy per commuter by 31 gallons per year, according to the Urban Mobility Report. In terms of excessive fuel consumption, Atlanta ranks seventh in the US, alongside Boston, Seattle, and Houston.
Congestion costs per car commuter
The congestion cost per commuter is the sum of the excess fuel plus the value of the additional travel time per person hour ($ 18.12). With annual congestion costs of $ 1,653 per commuter, Atlanta ranks fifth in the country on this measurement.
The impact of COVID-19 on traffic congestion in Atlanta
The 2019 Urban Mobility Report is not without qualifications, and some argue that the report is incorrect. For example, Atlanta drivers find it hard to believe that a 30-minute drive is only nine minutes longer during rush hour. However, the data does give some valuable insight into Atlanta’s statewide ranking for traffic jams.
Another problem with the report is that it does not reflect changes in traffic levels due to COVID-19 restrictions. For example, in March 2020 there was no congestion on the 75/78 or Downtown Connector by Atlanta.
While traffic has increased since the initial lockdown, the long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic on traffic has been significant. Organizations have recognized that employees work from home, which reduces costs. Unfortunately, lockdown restrictions also resulted in high unemployment, which contributes to lower traffic.
Causes of traffic jams
Different situations can lead to traffic jams. The following are the most common causes of traffic jams on Atlanta roads:
- Road obstacles that force two or more lanes to merge into one
- Traffic lights that are out of sync or are defective
- Heavy pedestrian traffic on busy streets
Solutions to ease traffic congestion in Atlanta
In general, the congestion is due to traffic that is too high for the road infrastructure. As America’s hub in Southeast America, Atlanta is currently the ninth largest metropolitan area in the country with 5.9 million inhabitants. Atlanta is predicted to have a population of 8.6 million by 2050.
To ease the congestion on Atlanta’s roads, the Georgia Department of Transportation has revised the schedule for implementing its major mobility investment program. The program includes building regional express lanes, improving Interstate 285, and exchanging rebuilding 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 traffic jams
When you find yourself stuck in traffic, it is important to follow the basics of safe driving. The congested traffic usually moves slowly, which increases the risk of rear-end collisions and other accidents.
Do not drive aggressively when you are in congested traffic. Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you and do not brake suddenly. Before turning or changing lanes, use your turn signals and check your blind spots for cyclists or other vehicles.
If you’ve had an accident, you will need professional legal advice from a car accident attorney, even if the accident wasn’t your fault.
At Greathouse Trial Law we can assist you with all legal aspects of a car accident. Our qualified personal injury attorney will assess your situation, help you file personal injury proceedings and negotiate settlements with the insurance company. We’ll 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 that the Greathouse Trial Law operates on a contingent fee basis. This means that you will not pay us until we claim a refund on your behalf.
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