I just saw a report that said the Georgia Department of Transportation is looking into establishing truck-only lanes on part of I-75 in Atlanta.
You may recall the 2017 American Transportation Research Board’s report on the nation’s top truck bottlenecks had Atlanta occupying seven of the top 100 spots.
Congestion, according to ATRI, costs the trucking industry $49.6 billion and results in 728 million lost hours. The group says this is the equivalent of 264,500 trucks sitting still for one year.
Clearly something needs to be done about these traffic bottlenecks. A study conducted for the Georgia DOT says this proposed I-75 project alone will reduce delays by 40% in 2030. The project is in the pre-project initiation phase so figures can change. Project limits, design standards, environmentally sensitive areas, traffic patterns and access locations are being explored at this time. Preliminary cost estimates are $1.8 billion.
As it stands now, trucks would run on truck only lanes and would be separated from passenger car traffic by a barrier.
It is too soon to know for sure if this project will ever come to fruition, but I like the fact that the Georgia DOT is looking at ways to cut down on congestion and reduce bottlenecks given how much they cost.
What I do know is that we can’t just sit around and hope that traffic congestion fixes itself. Trucking is a vital part of the nation’s economy so we need to look at a variety of solutions to deal with bottlenecks and congestion.
Given that the Trump administration has come out with more details about its infrastructure development plan, now seems like a good time to start surfacing ideas like truck only lanes as one possible part of improving our roads and making them better for all users.
I think if industry leaders put their heads together we could come up with some good solutions to the congestion problem.