Three of the nation’s worst bottlenecks are in Atlanta, study finds

A drive around Atlanta is a world-renowned as a test of patience due to frequent, sometimes-unexpected traffic jams.

According to a recent study, three particular areas around the city are especially bad.

The American Highway Users Alliance, a group that aims to reduce traffic problems on the country’s roadways, ranked the 50 worst bottlenecks in the United States, and two of those are in metro Atlanta. The infamous “Grady Curve” area of the downtown connector, was ranked No. 24, while the I-285/GA 400 interchange was ranked No. 49.

The latter will (hopefully) fall off future lists when the Georgia Department of Transportation’s $1 billion plan to rebuild the interchange is finished.

(Photo: Here’s how Peachtree Street looked in 1864)

A third Atlanta interchange was named the worst in America in terms of freight bottlenecks. When AHUA factored tractor-trailers into their study, Spaghetti Junction (I-285 at I-85 on the northeast side of town) was named the worst bottleneck in the nation.

That particular interchange, at its worst, will make a driver consider ditching a vehicle and walking to his or her destination. So it’s not surprising to see Spaghetti Junction receive this, uh, “honor.”

But in all honesty, it’s almost a pleasant surprise to see Atlanta only named twice on the other top-50 list, especially when compared to several other big cities. Los Angeles is named nine times in AHUA’s top-20 alone.

The next time you’re stuck in gridlock at the Grady Curve or the north side of I-285, count your blessings, because one list says it could be a lot worse.

Image: flickr/Gregor Smith

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