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Study: Atlanta’s Connector is country’s fifth most congested corridor

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According to the Global Traffic Scorecard, Atlanta scored worse overall—shockingly—than last year

Traffic on the Downtown Connector.
Atlantans sacrifice a lot of time to the city’s traffic woes.
Sweetandweak.com

It should come as no surprise to most Atlantans that rush-hour(s) traffic on the city’s interstates dominates much of the time they spend traveling to and from work.

In fact, according to the 2019 Global Traffic Scorecard by INRIX, a company specializing in mobility analytics and connected car services, Atlanta drivers waste 82 hours per year at peak hours in congestion.

More specifically, Atlanta drivers spend 64 hours per year in congestion on the downtown Connector alone. That’s bad enough to make it the fifth most-clogged corridor in the entire country.

But traffic doesn’t just cost these drivers time. Per the study, congestion alone costs Atlanta $3 billion—an average of $1,214 per driver. That’s some serious bank.

While these numbers are bad, they could be worse. Like last year, Boston took the top spot as the most congested city in the United States at 149 lost hours.

The study examined and ranked congestion and mobility trends in more than 900 cities across 43 countries, including 66 urban areas in the United States.

Chart of the 10 most congested U.S. roads in 2019
Traffic on the downtown Connector is bad, but it could be worse.
Source: INRIX 2019 Global Traffic Scorecard

Going beyond time lost due to congestion, the severity of congestion and the reasons for it, the study also looked at the impact of micromobility options including public transportation and biking metrics.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no viable solutions on the horizon in Atlanta for reducing time spent sitting in traffic on interstates around the city, at least not by these tabulations.

Not a Top 10 list Atlanta drivers want to be on.
Source: INRIX 2019 Global Traffic Scorecard

Worse yet is that hours lost to congestion are rising for Atlantans, earning a Top 10 slot overall now on the rankings.

An INRIX report from two years ago suggests that Atlantans now waste 12 more hours annually in traffic. That earlier study also pegged Atlanta’s overall traffic as fourth worst in the country.

So if there’s a silver lining, the recent inclusion of micromobility options appears to have weighted these studies in Atlanta’s favor.