Report: Metro Atlanta's traffic is 15th worst in nation

Try telling that to the person crawling along I-285 everyday.

Yet another study points out what most metro Atlantans know: Traffic around here is bad. But this report says the metro area -- which includes Sandy Springs, Marietta and surrounding cities -- is the 15th worst in the nation, instead of in the top 10 or maybe five.

Why the discrepancy?

In “Driven Apart: How sprawl is lengthening our commutes and why misleading mobility measures are making things worse,” a city’s traffic commute is gauged by how long drivers spend on clogged roads as well as how many miles they have to commute.

The study, released this week, is from the Chicago-based group CEOs for Cities and financed by the Rockefeller Foundation. The group suggests that traffic engineers look at how many miles people travel to work instead of just how long they sit in traffic.

For example, Atlanta may rank just below metro Los Angeles and metro Washington, D.C., in the number of hours people actually sit in traffic, but the city drops to No. 15 when the total distance that people have to travel is also factored.

The metro areas of Nashville, Oklahoma City, Birmingham and Richmond, Va., rank at the top of that list because of the distance commuters travel during rush-hour times.

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