Solar eclipse 2017: How Atlanta traffic could be affected

On August 21, the moon will pass between the sun and Earth for the first total solar eclipse visible in all 50 states in nearly 100 years.

» RELATED: The ultimate guide to the once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse this August 

According to NASA, it will create a 70-mile swarth of midday darkness that will last for about two and a half minutes along the path between 1 and 4 p.m. Astronomers are calling it the Great American Eclipse.

People in metro Atlanta will not see a total eclipse but will experience a partial eclipse around 2:36 p.m. To see a total eclipse will require a drive about two to three hours from Atlanta.

» RELATED: How Georgians can watch the rare total solar eclipse this summer 

But Atlantans might also experience another rare phenomenon—decreased traffic.

“We are looking at the possibility of an overall reduction in rush hour traffic, as people might be taking the day off and traveling out of town to see the eclipse, although just how much traffic could be reduced is hard to predict,”said Scott Higley, the DOT’s director of strategic communications.

» RELATED: Solar eclipse events in Georgia 

Officials expect thousands from the metro Atlanta area to flock to Georgia’s top eclipse-viewing destinations in the Northeastern corner of the state, potentially decreasing the number of drivers on the road in town during the hours of the eclipse (1 to 4 p.m.) Read more about how Atlanta traffic could be affected by the solar eclipse on myAJC.com.

Stay updated on all things Atlanta traffic at AJC.com/traffic.

» RELATED: Don’t get scammed — Safe, NASA-approved eclipse glasses and where to snag a pair 

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