ARC Sets the Record Straight on Metro Atlanta Traffic
You may have read about the recent Inrix Global Traffic Scorecard, which ranked metro Atlanta’s traffic congestion as the 8th-worst globally.
While that made headlines here, there’s a lot more to the story:
Atlanta fares much better using another Inrix measure
The Inrix report also ranks regions by percentage of driving time spent in congestion. In metro Atlanta, it’s 10% — which ranks better than 284 regions globally and 19 in the U.S.
Regions in the U.S. where commuters spend more of their driving time in congestion include Boston (14%), Los Angeles (13%), Seattle (12%), Nashville (11%) and Austin (11%).
And also note that the Inrix report only evaluated regions in 38 counties. Plenty of places suffering from notorious traffic congestion weren’t even considered, such as Delhi, Mumbai, Lagos, Tokyo, Beijing, and Cairo, just to name a few.
A major transformation is underway. Dozens of major projects are under construction or in the planning stages, in line with the Atlanta Region’s Plan, our long-range transportation blueprint:
- GDOT is building a vast network of Express lanes on area highways that provide a free-flowing, reliable trip – even in rush hour. Importantly, the toll lanes can be used by transit vehicles, making the region’s popular commuter bus system an even better option.
- A transit expansion is planned that will improve access to jobs and provide greater choice for area commuters. MARTA has a $2.5 billion expansion in the works, while our suburban systems are expanding hours of operation.
- Significant road improvements are planned by 2023 to ease the region’s worst choke points, including 21 new or rebuilt freeway interchanges and 308 miles of new lanes on key arterials.
- And we’re greatly expanding metro Atlanta’s network of multi-use trails, offering new ways to get around the region by walking or biking and building key connections that will create one of the most comprehensive systems in the nation.
New Investments Driven by New Funding Streams
The Georgia state legislature a few years ago took the bold step of modernizing our transportation funding mechanism, and as a result, state funding has effectively doubled.
Meanwhile, voters across metro Atlanta have approved sales tax increases that provided dedicated funding for transportation projects. After recent approvals in DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, and Fulton, each of the region’s 10 core counties have in place a sales tax that are dedicated, at least in part, to transportation funding. And city of Atlanta voters approved an additional half-cent MARTA sales tax to fund a $2.5 billion transit expansion.
This infusion of resources has greatly accelerated the implementation of the region’s long-range transportation plan, so we can better keep up with growth and remain a thriving, competitive region.
Every thriving region wrestles with traffic, and Atlanta is no different
In many ways, congestion is a byproduct of a healthy economy. And metro Atlanta is booming, adding jobs at one of the fastest rates in the nation.The Inrix list includes some of the most dynamic regions in the world. Atlanta’s Inrix ranking is better than places like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and London, and about the same as Paris and Miami.
Legislature Considers Regional Transit Governance and Funding
The Georgia state legislature is exploring the creation of a regional transit governance and funding structure that could transform how we travel across metro Atlanta. There’s tremendous momentum, as bills are being drafted and debated in both the House and Senate.