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The beautiful side of Atlanta traffic, in 12 photos

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Traffic in Atlanta is generally an unsightly mess. Until you slow it ... way ... way ... down.

Traffic streams in and out of downtown Atlanta on a recent, cloudy night.
Traffic streams in and out of downtown Atlanta on a recent, cloudy night.
Photos: Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta

With this being Transportation Week—and this being car-centric Atlanta, after all—we’d be remiss to not pay some attention to the snarling, 18-lane gorilla of human mobility in our backyard.

The Connector and its many asphalt offshoots can seem more like impediments to going places in Atlanta than the means of getting there. Take, for instance, the vehicular logjam around the Grady Curve. On Saturday afternoons.

But instead of piling on the tired, perpetual griping about ATL traffic, we opted to set out and try to find beauty in it—somehow.

Ironic as it may sound when discussing highway travel, the quest for gridlock artfulness led to a process of slowing down. Way, way down. As in, opening the lightning-quick aperture for a very long time.

Below is a selection of our dozen favorite photos from the process. They aim to capture the Atlanta skyline (minus Buckhead and friends) with a fresh take on how constant streams of vehicles interact with it.

Electrified by long-exposure photography are various offshoots of The Connector, with Midtown at left and right and downtown beyond.
Photos: Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta
Twilight sets in across Midtown.
The Connector, after evening gridlock.
A red river of taillights, with Midtown’s amorphous skyline above.
Traffic up and down 17th Street at Midtown’s Atlantic Station.
The Walking Dead view of Atlanta traffic from the Jackson Street bridge, facing west over downtown.
The Peachtree Street bridge from the Courtland Street bridge, downtown.
Traffic shoots down Courtland Street.
The Georgia State Capitol building and the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception are illuminated as traffic flows down M.L.K. Jr. Drive, as seen from atop the Underground Atlanta parking garage.
Clouds roll over the city as traffic works its way up and down Freedom Parkway.