TRAFFIC ALERT: Atlanta surface streets see delays as Christmas weekend begins

The evening commute is coming to a close, but drivers beware: last minute shoppers have clogged side streets near metro Atlanta malls.

And it won’t get any easier as the Christmas holiday nears. 

A record 107.3 million Americans are expected to travel by car, airline or other mode during the holiday period that technically begins Saturday and runs through New Year’s Day, according to estimates by AAA.

The congestion that mostly plagues Atlanta’s interstates is primarily on Atlanta’s surface streets. 

“The areas to avoid won’t necessarily be the interstates, but the surface streets around major mall regions,” said Ashley Frasca, traffic reporter for News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB.

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“To preserve safety in those areas, look out for pedestrians, and when you’re first in the intersection at a traffic light, don’t block the box.”

RELATED: How to conquer the holiday travel rush

Frasca said volume on holiday weekends usually is heavier on the south side on I-75 through Henry County. To help traffic flow, the Georgia Department of Transportation is reversing the South Metro Express Lanes to flow south only from Saturday night until Tuesday morning.

GDOT also has suspended construction-related road closures on interstates, heavily traveled state routes and roads near major shopping centers, malls and tourist attractions. The suspension began at 5 a.m. Friday and ends at 10 p.m. Tuesday.

 » For updated traffic information, listen to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and follow @ajcwsbtraffic on Twitter.

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