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Is Closing On-Ramps A Wise Move For Clogged Connector?

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Every so often, a politically motivated or just plain harebrained proposal is floated into the public realm as the traffic panacea for which Atlanta's been pining for decades. Recall the Ga. 400-to-Interstate 675 extension that would've bored through East Atlanta? Yeah, like that. Now, as Creative Loafing reports, cash-strapped state officials are considering a relatively cheap option for unclogging the Downtown Connector that flies in the face of the region's more-more-more approach of years past. The Georgia Department of Transportation is considering closing some Midtown and Downtown onramps to clamp down on all that madcap merging. But will intown residents and workers be unjustly, negatively impacted for the benefit of travelers and suburban commuters? With the bloody death of T-SPLOST, is there another option?

Consider the facts, as CL points out: As the Downtown Connector wends like a fat snake from I-20 to Spring Street, it collects traffic from nine entrance/exits ramps — which is five times more than the recommended national standard. Previous solutions to address this, ranging from additional lanes to double-decking the Connector, were logistically impossible or cost prohibitive, and thus fell apart.

The GDOT proposal would close at least three entrance and exit ramps between Midtown and downtown — but only for three and a half hours during weekday rush hours. Officials stress the idea is merely in envisioning stages at the moment, and much public discourse and education would commence before a trial run is undertaken. Here's CL's take, in part: "Some of those ideas make sense. But, frankly, it is depressing. It might feel like progress and look like sound conservative policy but it's really re-arranging the deck chairs." No cost figures are mentioned.

How's this clamp-the-ramps idea strike you? A recipe for chaos, or a sensible, cost-effective proposal that could help, if even a little? Or something in between?

· Rearranging the deck chairs [Creative Loafing]
· Expert Declares Atlanta's Downtown Connector Not Hot [Curbed Atlanta]