With Memorial Day Finally Here, The World’s Worst Traffic Is About To Get Worse
Tens of millions of people are expected to be on the road this weekend. Memorial Day weekend is notorious for heavy traffic as folks head outdoors, to vacation spots, attend parades, enjoy concerts, and backyard barbecues. According to the American Automobile Association, 39 million people will drive 50 miles or further this weekend. The number of expected travelers has increased by 1 million from last year, making this Memorial Day’s roads the most crowded since 2005. So if you plan on venturing out this weekend, leave plenty of time and be prepared to encounter a significant amount of traffic.
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is anticipating that the Atlanta-area roads will be busy. To ease the traffic in some spots, GDOT will not close any lanes to traffic for roadway repairs from noon on May 26 until 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 30 on Georgia’s interstate highways. Also, GDOT will limit closures on state roads in the area of the state’s main tourist attractions.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the popular crowd sharing internet application “Waze” can assist motorists with navigating around and through areas bogged down by traffic congestion. Waze not only assists with finding alternate routes around high-volume areas, but it also retains data input by users and shared with others. Data obtained by the newspaper from Waze suggests that the worst time to drive in the Atlanta area last year was on Memorial Day. Drivers’ misery last Memorial Day weekend was caused by traffic congestion and accidents which brought metropolitan Atlanta area traffic to a standstill. The data analyzed by Waze found that the incidents of car accidents increased by 19% on Friday of Memorial Day weekend 2016 and the police presence feature accessible to Waze users demonstrated a 50% increase on that Friday as well compared to the average weekend. Incidents of police alerts increased by 25% on Saturday and 30% on Sunday of last Memorial Day weekend.
Getting out of town is hard and coming home on Monday is equally difficult. Data suggests returning to the Atlanta metropolitan area after 5:00 p.m. on Monday. Motorists are also cautioned to be mindful of road hazards driving Tuesday morning. Waze’ data shows that alerts for road hazards increase by 15% on the Tuesday morning after Memorial Day as people are returning to work and school after the long weekend. Road hazards can be anything from debris from cars to displaced pieces of road that became dislodged from the constant strain of all of the cars on Atlanta’s roads.
Of course, every motorist who drives on Atlanta’s roads knows that the roads can be utterly impassable at times because of the sheer volume of vehicles on them. Everyone has a tale of woe about sitting in traffic. Now statistics prove that the stories are true. The results from a recently published survey prove that Atlanta falls in the top ten of the world’s worst traffic. The results show that Atlanta metropolitan area drivers spend on average 70.8 hours per year stuck in traffic. That number ranks Atlanta eighth worst in the world. Last year, Atlanta traffic ranked the eleventh worst worldwide. Atlanta has the fourth worst traffic nationally behind Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.
Despite the prognostications of heavy traffic, everyone at Montlick & Associates wishes our clients, friends, and neighbors a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend 2017.
Sources: cited within