Last week, the morning after the Grammy Awards, Captain Herb Emory, during a traffic report made a casual reference to “The Jammys” referring to the early morning jams he was covering. The Captain was paying homage to the music awards describing the interstate backups. I thought it was hilarious and decided to take it a step further. Why not come up with actual Atlanta traffic awards? Why not do a real Jammy presentation.
I quickly came up with some categories and emailed “ballots” to all of the members of the WSB Traffic Team and to Jim Basile, a long time traffic reporter in the city.
So without further delay, here are the inaugural metro Atlanta Jammy Awards:
Best Interstate Commute:
This one was unanimous. Everyone who voted named Interstate 85 in Coweta and South Fulton as the region’s best interstate commute. No big surprise here. Unless there is a crash or major incident, the road is usually delay free.
Worst Interstate Commute:
Balloting was a bit tighter in this category, but the winner turned out to be the north side of Interstate 285. Morning and evenings provide commuters with plenty to complain about. Traveling east or westbound to and from Ga. 400, the north side perimeter is pretty rough.
Best supporting road (best alternate route):
Gwinnett County commuters might be the luckiest in terms of the number of alternate routes. Three alternates to I-85 received votes including Buford Highway and Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Traffic reporter Doug Turnbull explains his vote for the winner, Satellite Boulevard.
“It’s not the biggest alternate route,” Turnbull said. “But so many people flock to Buford Highway and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard during an I-85 traffic crisis that Satellite Boulevard is usually a much better option for the savvy commuter.”
Worst supporting road (worst alternate route):
This was a landslide winner. Poor old Highway 41 (Cobb Parkway) was named as the worst alternate route on all but two ballots.
“This alternate backs up really fast when Interstate 75 goes to the dogs and there really is no other I-75 alternate nearby to relieve the pressure,” Turnbull said.
The Buford/Spring Connector at Highway 9 through North Fulton County also received votes.
Bad Driver Award:
This award goes to the interstate where we see the most crashes and fender-benders. Voting was tight, and believe it or not, we had a tie for the winner. According to Atlanta traffic reporters, the worst drivers are found on the Downtown Connector (I-75/85) and the east side perimeter (I-285) in Dekalb County.
Turnbull explains his vote for the Downtown Connector:
“Normally I-75/85 crashes are small and off to the side, but there are quite a few,” Turnbull said. “The blame these days likely goes to drivers checking their phones when traffic is stopped or barely moving (which it often is).”
So there you have it. The inaugural edition of the Atlanta Jammy Awards. I look forward to compiling the votes again next year. If you have any suggestions for additional categories, I’d love to here them.