Gridlock Guy: Five worse spots for auto wrecks

The old saying goes in real estate it’s all about location, location, location. The same is true when it comes to Atlanta traffic. When a crash happens on an interstate, the location of the wreck is very important. Two identical crashes, in two separate locations can create two very different backups.

When you are at home getting ready for work or driving to the office and a traffic reporter tells about on a crash in specific locations you know that your commute can get ugly in a hurry.

In my experience, these are the five worst locations for crashes during morning drive:

— Interstate 285 northbound outer loop north of Covington Highway: A crash that occurs here, impacts two very busy interstates. I-285 obviously, but also Interstate 20. As far as delays go, this is a horrible spot to have an accident. If the crash happens south of Covington Highway, commuters can avoid the delays on I-20 by using Covington Highway as an alternate. When the crash occurs north of Covington Highway, that road becomes toast too, and options are limited. A difference of only a couple hundred yards on the interstate can make a huge difference.

— Interstate 85 southbound south of Ga. 400: An absolute nightmare spot for a crash during morning drive. Huge numbers of travelers use both I-85 and Ga. 400 to get into Buckhead, midtown and downtown. If there a wreck occurs in that spot, commuters on both freeways feel the impact. The Buford Spring Connector, Roswell Road and Peachtree Road also are impacted.

— Interstate 75 southbound south of Ga. 5: Double doozy here. Any crash south of the I-75/I-575 split is bad, but one that happens between Ga. 5 and the North Loop makes things extra difficult. As you might expect, both interstates get badly jammed, but what really makes this location bad, is that commuters that normally take Ga. 5 as an alternate to Interstate 575, can’t use it, because Ga. 5 also is impacted by the crash. Never fun.

— Interstate 75 - Interstate 85 northbound north of Interstate 20: Captain Herb often calls this the “Downtown Stinkeroo,” and rightly so. Even on a morning with no crashes, the northbound lanes of the Downtown Connector are rough. When you have a crash there you experience major delays north of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and on I-20 both eastbound and westbound ramping onto the Downtown Connector. Travelers from the east, west and south sides feel the effect.

— Interstate 285 Westbound outer loop between Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and Ashford Dunwoody Road: A crash occuring here in Dekalb County will often impact commuters in northern Gwinnett County. This is a triple bad spot. Not only does I-285 get backed up, but so do I-85 and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. No crash can impact more commuters, more quickly, than a crash in this spot.

You may or maynot agree with me, but my years of reporting Atlanta traffic have shown that those really are the worse spots for auto wrecks.