The Traffic Season Is Upon Us

Living in Atlanta you come to realize that we have more than 4 seasons. Along with Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, we have many sub-seasons in Atlanta, even more important than the four traditional seasons. For example, we have just started college football season, which is arguably the most important and most eagerly anticipated season of the year. We also have hunting season which, for many people, is the highlight of their year. Then we have the much less popular pollen season that begins when the first yellow dot lands on our cars and seemingly never ends. Allergy sufferers despise pollen season. In fact, the only people that probably like pollen season are those who own car washes.

Fast forward up present day, and we have moved into the least popular season of them all, traffic season. You might have thought that traffic season started a few weeks ago when the schools in the metro area started back up. While it’s true that traffic gets much worse when students and teachers return to school, the real traffic season has just begun.

Historically, the day after Labor Day signals the return of the worst traffic conditions of the year. Summer vacations are officially over and, as the crispness of the fall air has just come upon us, so the heaviest traffic days are also upon us. Everyone is back on the roads.

What should we expect on the roads?

For Interstate 75 drivers, you can expect delays to stretch from Bartow County down to Interstate 285 and then again inside the perimeter from West Paces Ferry. If you drive on Ga. 400, daily delays will start well north of Pilgrim Mill Road. Your trip time will also increase significantly.

Down Interstate 85, delays will form north of the Guinnett County line and the rough ride down from Ga. 316 will get even worse, sometimes stretching all the way into midtown. Expect extra aggravation on I-285 on the east, west and north sides of town. Add a good 20 percent to your trip time every morning.

Along I-20 on the east side, you can plan on daily delays to start well before Turner Hill Road. Westside commuters can count on delays ever morning from Ga. 92 in Douglas County to I-285, not to mention the traffic jams on I-20 approaching downtown.

The biggest change in traffic might be I-75 in Henry County. After a fairly tranquil summer, the fall season is predicted to have heavy delays between McDonough and Stockbridge. And of course the Downtown Connector ride northbound (which is always rough), is going to get even slower.

Hopefully we have all enjoyed the start of the college football season, because the worst season of all is going to be staring us straight in the face when we get behind the wheel tomorrow, the next day and the next.