As bad as Atlanta traffic is, it could be worse. A lot worse, according to The Daily Beast.com, which ranks Atlanta 22nd among the country's 75 worst commutes.
Using data from traffic information firm INRIX, The Daily Beast determined Atlanta drivers lose 250 hours a week due to road congestion.
But, compare that to 686 hours of logjam on the Hollywood Freeway in Los Angeles -- the site's No. 1 worst commute -- and you understand just how bad metro Atlantans don't have it.
INRIX pulls travel time information from more than 1.5 million GPS units, mostly in freight trucks. The Daily Beast used this data to figure the difference between travel times at peak congestion versus free-flow traffic for each metropolitan area surveyed.
The system doesn't seem to be completely scientific, however. The Baltimore Beltway, ranked No. 21, only accounts for 152 hours of jam time.
After determining the 75 worst metro areas, The Daily Beast looked for the worst highways in each, using the weekly bottleneck times as a guide.
In Atlanta, the worst area of tie-ups is on I-75 southbound at Exit 252/Northside Drive, where in about eight-tenths of a mile a stretch of five lanes splits off into three different directions: north, with two lanes following a very tight loop that merges onto I-85; south, following three lanes that continue along I-75; and an exit to 17th Street about a mile south of Northside Drive. And, of course, there's the ubiquitous HOV lane that skirts along the edge of that northward-bending loop to I-85.
Phew! No wonder there's congestion there.
Estimated weekly time of congestion on this stretch of road is about 23 hours, with traffic typically moving about 23 mph when there's a bottleneck, The Daily Beast reports.
Following LA's Hollywood Freeway in the Top 5 of this "worst of" list are the Lunalilo Freeway (H-1) in Honolulu; the Capital Beltway surrounding Washington, D.C.; I-35 in Austin, Texas; and the James Lick Freeway (US 101) in San Francisco.
Just a step after -- or better than -- Atlanta is Tampa's I-275, their version of our perimeter highway.
So count your blessings and keep driving. You could have to deal with 712 hours a week of traffic, like Chicago's Kennedy Expressway (No. 9).
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