While there are rarely “good” times to be on Atlanta roads, holiday traffic is sure to create more-than-usual congestion around town.
This Fourth of July, according to the American Automobile Association, a record 44.2 million Americans have plans to travel 50 or more miles away from home.
That’s 1.25 million more travelers than last year, making this year’s the most traveled Independence Day holiday weekend ever.
And a huge chunk (37.5 million) of those travelers will be driving to their destinations.
To help alleviate some of the chaos, the Georgia Department of Transportation announced limited construction-related lane closures during the holiday weekend.
Such closures will be suspended on interstate and major state system highways between 5 a.m. Saturday, July 1 and 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, July 5.
Best and worst times to be on the roads
Based on last year’s traffic data, popular traffic and navigation app Waze also determined the best and worst travel times in big metros (including Atlanta) over the holiday weekend.
The worst window of time for drivers to make their way out of town is 2-5 p.m. on Friday, June 30, a Waze spokeswoman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
During the 5-day holiday travel span (Friday-Tuesday), Monday, July 3, is the best time to be on Atlanta roads.
Waze expects an 88 percent decrease in traffic jams in Atlanta on Monday.
This isn’t surprising, because most Fourth of July travelers are likely staying off the roads until after the Tuesday fireworks celebrations.
On that note, the 10-11 p.m. window on Independence Day (after the fireworks are over) is one of the worst times to be on the roads, according to Waze.
Nationally, Independence Day late evening traffic is on average three times higher than it would normally be on a regular week day.