If you've ever lived in, worked in, or even commuted to downtown Atlanta, you're most likely aware of the "slow creep" that is Atlanta traffic.
According to the latest findings by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, Atlanta traffic was ranked as the 12th worst in the country. Optimistic readers may consider the fact that, albeit somewhat shameful, Atlanta traffic could be much worse. Below is a list of the top 12 cities with the worst traffic:
1. New York, NY
2. Los Angeles, CA
3. Chicago, IL
4. Washington DC
5. Houston, TX
6. Miami, FL
7. Dallas, TX
8. Philadelphia, PA
9. Phoenix, AZ
10. Detroit, MI
11. Boston, MA
12. Atlanta, GA
Cities were rated based on the amount of congestion, travel delay, excess fuel consumed, and congestion cost. For example, the average travel time for Atlanta residents is 1.24 hours. The list is part of an "Urban Mobility study"1 that includes an analysis on the future of congestion and how it can be relieved in large cities such as New York, Atlanta, or Miami. The study believes that the following efforts can be made to relieve traffic congestion:
Make travel safer and more reliable.
Examples of more reliable transportation include improved intersection design, timing of traffic signals, and speeding up the removal of crashed vehicles on busy roadways.
Add more infrastructure.
This is well-known to Atlanta: Experts are calling for expanded (and improved) public transportation facilities, advancements in vehicle technology, and expanded highway lanes.
Provide more choices.
Choices include different travel routes, lanes, or tolls that allow travelers to customize their travel plans away from 75/85.
Change the usage patterns.
It's true--long commutes can affect your professional life, too. This category includes flexible work hours, electronic communication systems that can be controlled remotely, and solutions that avoid travel during typical rush hours. According to the study, strategies that allow for varying combinations of work hours often lead to lower recruiting and training costs. They also save on parking space and staff turnover.
Diversity development patterns.
These development patterns usually relate to land development, education, and transit. In short: Build quality education, sought-after real estate, and entertainment venues in areas that are not overly dense and thus do not negatively impact local transit.
Maintain realistic expectations.
It's not naive to assume large urban cities will be congested. Congestion is and will be expected--the goal is to keep it from becoming an all-day event.