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Atlanta Traffic Problems: Why is it Bad & Who’s to Blame?

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Atlanta Traffic Problems has a reputation that’s known worldwide. Why is it Bad & Who’s to Blame for this mess? The busiest 3 major interstate highways in Georgia – Merge into ONE Highway, down the City Center of Atlanta.

Downtown Connector
Downtown Connector

According to GDOT “The Downtown Connector, defined as the common section of I75/85… currently carries over 437,000 vehicles per day and provides critical access into the region’s core. In addition to experiencing congestion during the AM and PM peak travel periods, the Downtown Connector experiences high levels of congestion outside of the peak periods during special events.”

A minor bumper-to-bumper accident has a rippling effect and nearly shuts down major highways for hours on end.

Merging these highways, was terrible transportation planning and has had a negative effect on the economic impact and on quality of life.

The interchange Density is 4X the average AASHTO spacing recommendation.

This is our own “GDOT”. Georgia Department of Transportation, the State Government office in charge of this road. 

Atlanta Public Transportation Issues

Atlanta marta station line map

Secondly, a similar issue is with MARTA and Five Points. The poorly planned transportation layout is ineffective. One train delayed or broken, impacts the whole system. Hence MARTA ridership is declining, despite, more services added unnecessarily.

What compounds the issues with GDOT, is how they function as a Government entity. They outsource the vital work to “For-Profit” Private Construction Companies. These companies, typically put in a very low-bid.  Secure the job, start the project and then make “change orders”. These changes typically consist of things like guard rails, that should have been included in the bid originally. If they were, the bids would NOT have been the lowest. Likewise, and job completed quicker. 

GDOT Board

GDOT Board is run by Unelected Officials from the general public. They are regionally appointed by Georgia Legislators. These Board seats are typically given to former politicians as consolation prizes. In addition, they have little or no experience with traffic or congestion relief expertise. The highly coveted positions spend billions of tax dollars on bloated construction projects.

Kevin Abel is the new Johns Creek area GDOT representative. He replaced Mark Burkhalter. As a former politician, Kevin Abel lost to Lucy McBath for Congress 6th seat. Lastly, he has no experience in transportation planning or traffic relief that is mentioned in the press release or on his website.

In conclusion, the Atlanta Traffic Problems impact the region and cripples the quality of life on every level. Legislators do little to resolve the issues. Focusing on individuals with expertise to improve these problems would be a good first step. Otherwise, it is politics as usual, in Georgia.


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