MARTA has a mixed report card.
MARTA’s flexibility and responsiveness during the collapse deserves praise. Just a few hours after the bridge fell, MARTA committed to running extra trains and personnel for the Friday commute. The increased trains continued through this past week. However, people quickly took to the rails and jam packed the furthermost parking decks on the Gold, Red, and Blue lines. MARTA immediately says it is working to find alternative lots for the greater commutes this week and working out possible bus shuttles from them. But with so many MARTA newbies, getting them in the right direction could be a challenge. MARTA is launching the itsmarta.com/parking page to show the capacities of its lots. Plan extra patience with the rail and bus services this post-Spring Break week.
Companies are responding to the collapse properly.
Chick-fil-A showed up at MARTA stations to give free breakfast to carpoolers. The fast food chain also has been feeding the hard-working crews at the collapse site. Coca-Cola and AT&T both have warned employees of the impending gridlock this week. And some employers are even stationing employees at off-site locations or allowing them to work from home. These advances are not options for many that have to be on-site for their jobs, but at least they are drops in the traffic bucket.
GDOT is engineering up a storm during this closure.
GDOT’s Heath leads the team that has somehow managed to open all but one lane of Piedmont Road. (You know, where a whole bridge practically fell!) They also have opened all but one lane of the Buford-Spring Connector/Highway 13 and have re-striped the southbound side of that road to allow two lanes to re-enter I-85/southbound. Heath says 30 engineers are working tirelessly to try and re-time the traffic signals on the nearby arteries that are seeing so much more volume from the I-85 closure. He says his crew is still studying car counts to see which traffic lights to hold on green for longer. We have had several complaints about the light timing on these clogged side roads, but that should improve.
Doug Turnbull, the PM drive airborne anchor for Triple Team Traffic on News 95-5 FM and AM-750 WSB is the Gridlock Guy. He also writes a traffic blog and hosts a podcast with Smilin’ Mark McKay on wsbradio.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org