Atlanta Traffic

Last Thursday there was a snafu here in Atlanta that I fortunately was not caught in (link, reg. required). Donald Trump coming to town caused serious traffic congestion throughout the entire Atlanta Region. It illustrates how delicate the traffic situation is around here. There are 300,000 vehicles traveling on I-75/85 through downtown Atlanta every day, and that’s an average; it can be worse.

Today’s AJC has an article (reg. required) talking about how daily traffic has affected the lives of people around the metropolitan Atlanta area. How some people drastically change their daily schedules to avoid peak travel times, and others move from loved homes to shrink their commutes.

I understand entirely how these people feel. On a normal day, if I leave at 7:30 AM, it takes me 35 minutes to get to work, and a similar amount of time to get home. It only takes 18 minutes with free-flow traffic conditions. On a weather day, or a Friday, or a holiday, or because the Flying Spaghetti Monster is punishing us, it can take 45 minutes to an hour and a half to get home. That gets old quickly.

Thankfully, Jenn and I aren’t so attached to our house that we will have problems selling it and moving someplace else. We fully intend to move closer in to the heart of Atlanta if we decide to stay here after she gets tenure. However, there are people who, for the sake of a bigger home or larger yard, move to locations that force them into 1.5 hour commutes each way. I have met these people in the course of my work. That would be a nightmare, and I don’t know how they do it.

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4 Responses to Atlanta Traffic

  1. Tom says:

    I used to have a similar commute from NH to MA but instead of moving residences, I simply found a job closer to home. I’ve cut my commute in 1/2 from 45 minutes at off-peak times (upwards of 60 min at peak times) to 20 minutes no matter what time I leave.

  2. Steph says:

    Why are we driving to work at all anymore? I don’t get it. Broadband frees us from the tyranny of traffic, reduces dependency on foreign oil (huh, when might that be useful?) reduces emissions, gives us more time for…uh, exercising “family values” like eating dinner together or whatever…

    Driving to work every single day for 50 weeks a year is just stupid. Rise up, people.

  3. Bill says:

    You go, girl! Tell it like it is! Leave no man behind! Power to the people!

    Although there is the argument (and I will make it) that to do my job effectively requires equipment I don’t have at home. Plotters, scanners, network drives, all are a requirement for me. I can work at home occasionally, but when dealing with large plan sets, I need the paper. Computer screens don’t cut it.

    It would be nice, though. If my internet connection were 100Mb, I’d push for it.

  4. James Cronen says:

    In response to Steph’s post, I couldn’t agree more — one of the best things we could do to alleviate traffic and improve our national per capita fuel consumption is to telecommute in large numbers.

    Of course, there is one very, very large obstacle to this: the average American worker could never handle the maturity required to telecommute more than one day per week. Of course, employers generally DON’T know that employees waste just as much time in the office surfing the internet, daydreaming, planning their next vacation, etc., as they would at home. But in the office you can easily be “caught” and so employers think they have some kind of power over you.

    I’m all for more widespread telecommuting. Maybe we can settle on a nationally-agreed-upon two day office-week: Mondays and Thursdays are office days while Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are home days. What a boon this would be for those of us concerned with our energy usage! Instantly reducing our annual commute by 60%!

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