ATLANTA – Six months after the reopening of a vital section of I-85, Atlanta has returned to its old driving habits, with some exceptions.
According to data from the Georgia Department of Transportation, traffic patterns on a stretch of Georgia 400 have changed. Commuter Mark Riley says the change is not for the better.
“It's my impression that 400, at least this stretch, has gotten a lot more constipated,” says Riley.
Data from the GDOT suggests otherwise.
When a vital section of i-85 crumbled on March 30th, thousands of commuters abandoned their routines, avoiding some areas while overloading others.
Among the most stressed out areas of Atlanta was Cheshire Bridge Road. Traffic nearly doubled during the time commuters struggled around the rebuilding of the I-85 bridge. Months later, traffic on Cheshire Bridge is back to normal.
It’s the same story with the Downtown Connector. For six weeks, traffic south of the bridge collapse was extremely light. It, too, is back to normal.
Peachtree Street felt the weight of an additional 11,000 vehicles a day during the I-85 rebuilding. Apparently, according to GDOT data, some commuters found a new home. Peachtree now has 2,000 drivers more than it did before the bridge collapse.
Which brings us back to Georgia 400. Southbound traffic on 400 inside I-285 section of 400 dropped dramatically during the I-85 rebuild. Six months after the reopening of the bridge, traffic is still just a fraction of what it was. In fact, GDOT says the area of 400 inside the perimeter regained only about half of the daytime traffic that abandoned the route before the collapse.
As for the reason why, GDOT engineers say they have no idea.