New Year's Eve and holiday: Getting around

New Year’s Eve revelers, and vacationers returning from winter holidays, should keep at least one responsibility in mind this weekend: Travel safely.

Metro Atlanta offers many ways to celebrate the new year, from daytime children’s games and concerts throughout the region to the main events, the Chick-fil-A Bowl and the Peach Drop in downtown Atlanta on Dec. 31.  Here are some hints to help you get around more smoothly.

Mass transit

  • On New Year's Eve, for those coming to downtown Atlanta, consider MARTA. The Fulton and DeKalb transit agency is beefing up service on Friday, running every 15 minutes and extending into the wee hours that night, a little bit. The last train should leave Five Points Station at 2 a.m. after the new year rings in, according to MARTA, making the Peach Drop at Underground/Five Points a snap, if you don't mind crowds. MARTA's big request: Buy a round-trip ticket at the start of your day if you don't want to be standing in an eternal line at the ticket kiosk Friday night after it's all over. During the day Friday, MARTA will reroute some buses for the Chick-fil-A Bowl parade and game. Saturday, New Year's Day, is a holiday, so MARTA will run Sunday bus hours all weekend. See itsmarta.com or call 404-848-5000 for details.
  • Cobb Community Transit and Gwinnett County Transit are running no service on Saturday or Sunday, those counties said. They're not running extra hours on New Year's Eve, and in fact they will scale back express bus service Friday, since buses won't be able to get through the parade routes in Atlanta. Gwinnett County Transit is also scaling back all service on Monday. Check their websites for details.

  • Clayton County has no public transit.

Roads

  • Lane closures for major roadwork should be light because road crews are on vacation, but they're not banned, according to the state Department of Transportation.
  • Drivers might want to stay out of downtown Atlanta on Friday: Between the parade, the football game and the Peach Drop, the streets might be unpredictable. Be mindful of events everywhere, like the Duluth New Year's Eve Extravaganza Friday evening at the Duluth town green, or the Lawrenceville Rings events from 3 p.m. to midnight in downtown Lawrenceville.
  • Not all will be celebrating. In Cobb County, police spokesman Officer Michael Gardner warned to expect heavy traffic and rolling road closures Friday in the areas around Marietta Square, Roswell Street Baptist Church and Kennesaw Memorial Park, related to the memorial service for fallen trooper Chadwick LeCroy.

Chick-fil-A Bowl Parade street closings

Parade: 12:30-2 p.m.

Closings: 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

  • Ralph McGill Boulevard/Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, from west side of West Peachtree Street to east side of Peachtree Street
  • Porter Place N.E. from West Peachtree Street to Peachtree Street
  • Two east lanes of Spring Street from Baker Street to Pine Street
  • West Peachtree Street from south side of Pine Street to just south of Simpson Street

Source: Downtown Transportation Management Association

Safety

Since travelers keep crashing and dying, it bears repeating: Don’t drink and drive.  If mass transit’s not an option, make a hero of your designated driver. Then keep a sharp eye out for others on the road who don’t have it together, and protect yourself by buckling up and obeying the speed limit.

Some events

  • Gwinnett Center: 6 p.m. Friday, Gwinnett Gladiators vs. Wheeling Nailers
  • Centennial Olympic Park: Friday-Sunday, ice skating rink
  • Georgia World Congress Center: 2-6 p.m. Friday, Chick-fil-A Bowl FanFest
  • Georgia Dome: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Chick-fil-A Bowl (South Carolina vs. Florida State)
  • Philips Arena: 8:30 p.m. Friday, Zac Brown Band
  • Alexander Memorial Coliseum: 1 p.m. Friday, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Mercer Bears
  • Cobb Energy Centre: 8 p.m. Friday, Last Comic Standing Tour
  • Fox Theatre: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Chris Tucker
  • Stone Mountain: Friday-Sunday, Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain
  • Atlanta Civic Center: 9 p.m. Friday, New Year's Eve Celebration starring Charlie Wilson
  • Underground Atlanta: Friday, Peach Drop 2011
  • Atlantic Station: 4 p.m. Friday, Cirque du Soleil: "Ovo"
  • Duluth Town Green/Amphitheater Stage: 7 p.m. Friday, Duluth New Year's Eve Extravaganza
  • Downtown Lawrenceville: 3 p.m.-midnight Friday, Lawrenceville Rings
  • Smyrna Community Center: 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday, Radio Disney Noon Year's Eve kids' dance party

Event sources: Georgia Department of Transportation, cities of Duluth, Lawrenceville and Smyrna