Atlanta Traffic Congestion Ranks 13th Worst In Nation

Atlanta's traffic congestion doesn't break the nation's top 10 worst in the TomTom Traffic Index for 2016.
Credit Alison Guillory / WABE
Audio version of this story here.

WABE's John Lorinc interviews Nick Cohn, a senior traffic expert for TomTom.

Atlanta ranks in 13th place for most traffic-clogged city in the United States, according to the TomTom Traffic Index for 2016.

“Some of the worst bottlenecks, they’re not in the center of the city, they’re really in the outer suburbs,” says Nick Cohn, a senior traffic expert at TomTom. “It’s got employment so spread around that it’s very difficult for planners and local authorities to really change the situation.”

That’s why some Atlanta residents avoid the roadways in the city as often as possible, like Rebecca Serna with the Atlanta Bicycle CoalitionShe says her family of five has one car, and that she and her husband only drive about 10 miles per week.

“One of us will drive the kids to school, leave the car there, and then the other one will get to the school at the end of the day, get the kids, and bring them home,” she says. “So we get to work by either running, biking or taking MARTA.”

TomTom researchers based their congestion measurements on nearly 300 cities around the world and have built a database with 14 trillion historical travel time measurements that help give accurate traffic details.

Los Angeles tops the list in the United States, followed by San Francisco and New York. Internationally, Atlanta’s traffic ranks 96th worst.