Atlanta has always had a reputation for being traffic-heavy. But now, with data collected by the American Traffic Safety Services Association, it’s official: Atlanta ranks as one of America’s most congested cities.
It is estimated that over $3 billion is lost every year in productivity due to Atlanta traffic jams. It takes residents an average of 42 minutes to drive 15 miles. The city also ranks as the third-most dangerous metropolitan area for pedestrians and cyclists, which doesn’t surprise many given its infamous six-lane highways and large population density.
Traffic Congestion Ranks
It’s no surprise for commuters to Atlanta that traffic congestion is a problem. However, what may be surprising is where our beloved city ranks when it comes to the most congested areas in the nation. According to new data from INRIX, Atlanta has now cracked the top ten list of most congested cities in America.
The study found that drivers in Atlanta spent an average of 62 hours stuck in gridlock last year. This was good for the 4th spot among American cities, making it one of the worst cities for traffic in the country. Los Angeles unsurprisingly took first place, with drivers spending an average of 104 hours stuck in congestion. New York City and San Francisco rounded out the top three spots.
Interestingly, while Atlanta moved up in the rankings, our overall congestion levels stayed about the same as they were. Common causes of traffic congestion include population growth, increased employment rates, and road collisions. While having an Atlanta Injury Lawyer on speed dial to assist you with any car accident claims may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to alleviating traffic jams.
This shows just how important it is for drivers in Atlanta and across Georgia who are involved in collisions. Adding up the cost of time lost in traffic, fuel costs, and other expenses related to congestion can be staggering. That’s why it’s essential to have an experienced lawyer on your side if you’ve been injured in a car accident.
Why Are Roads Congested?
As the global pandemic is now under control and people are returning to their regular routines, more vehicles are on the road. As this increase continues, more people are looking for alternatives to driving alone in their cars, including public transportation and ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft.
Instead of continuing with our present course of building highways that carry less than half the traffic they were designed for, we must find ways to address congestion by changing travel demand through pricing, managing the use of vehicles and roads, and improving our transportation system.
There are many ways to reduce congestion, including managed lanes, carpooling or vanpools, employer-sponsored shuttles, off-peak pricing for tolls and parking, and better transit service. We also need to maintain our streets and roads in a state of good repair by investing in our transportation system.
Will Traffic Congestion Affect Atlanta’s Economy?
Traffic congestion is not only a headache for drivers, but it also has an impact on the economy. A recent study by INRIX found that Atlanta’s traffic is now among the worst in the nation. The cost of wasted time and fuel due to congestion reached $13.29 billion nationwide in 2017, increasing $700 million from the previous year.
The cost of traffic congestion is not only a financial burden, but it can also affect businesses’ bottom lines. In Atlanta, companies lose an estimated $678 million each year due to traffic congestion. This lost productivity costs the city nearly 29,000 jobs. Traffic congestion isn’t just a problem in Atlanta.
Accidents On the Road
In addition to the cost of wasted time and fuel, traffic congestion also leads to accidents. More than 42,000 crashes in Atlanta resulted in nearly 200 deaths and $815 million in damages. These crashes not only have a devastating impact on those involved, but they also cause gridlock and increase the cost of doing business.
Road Repair and Development
The city has increased its population by more than 30% in the last two decades, but it hasn’t expanded or improved its roads to accommodate the increase in vehicles on the road. Instead of addressing this issue head-on, Atlanta officials are hoping that technology will help reduce traffic congestion.
The city has announced several initiatives, such as installing smart meters, that are aimed at reducing traffic congestion. However, these initiatives have not yet had a noticeable impact on traffic. Atlanta’s officials need to take a closer look at the root causes of its traffic problems and make changes to accommodate the city’s growing population.
Expecting the worst when it comes to traffic in Atlanta is accepted as the norm. However, commuters or those doing business in the city shouldn’t have to accept the negative impact that traffic congestion has on their wallets and time. Atlanta officials need to take a closer look at what is causing its traffic problems and make changes so that the city can continue to grow and thrive.