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Windy Hill Road at Cobb Parkway One of Five Worst Intersections

Atlanta Regional Commission reports that Atlantans have the fourth worst commute in the country.

If your daily commute includes being stuck at the intersection of Windy Hill Road and Cobb Parkway you may think it is one of the worst in the metro area—and you’d be right. Fox 5 named the top five worst traffic intersections in Metro Atlanta and Windy Hill/Cobb Parkway was first on the list.

Cheryl White, Fox’s SKYFOX traffic expert, said she sometimes sees cars back up at the intersection for up to three miles. Other Metro Atlanta intersections named to the list include Peachtree Street and Piedmont Road in Midtown, U.S. Highway 78 and East Park Place in Stone Mountain, Georgia Highway 316 and Georgia Highway 20 in Lawrenceville and Mount Zion Boulevard and Southlake Parkway in Jonesboro.

The Atlanta Regional Commission reported that Metro Atlantans have the fourth worst commute in the country and that it will only get worse as the area continues to grow.

“We are forecast to grow another three million people by the year 2040 — that’s equivalent to the entire state of Arkansas,” Jane Hayse, division chief of transportation planning for the ARC, told Fox 5.

However, ARC representatives think the proposed Transportation Investment Act that goes to the polls July 31 will have an impact on traffic congestion in the region. If approved, the act would impose a one-cent sales tax collected over 10 years that would fund a list of transportation projects created by the Atlanta Regional Roundtable, a group of 21 local elected officials.

If approved, 85 percent of the tax will go to projects selected by the roundtable, with the remaining 15 percent being spent locally. The tax would go into effect January 2013 and expire December 2023. See here for the final report of the $6.14 billion list of transportation projects that were adopted by the roundtable.

Earlier this month ARC released an analysis of the referendum’s projected travel impacts. According to the analysis the projects would:

  • Achieve a 24 percent average decrease in future travel delays for roadways, improved through road widening, new construction and improved interchanges.
  • Increase daily transit trips to 580,000, compared to 417,000 trips today.
  • Improve air quality equal to taking 72,000 vehicles off the roads daily.
  • Enable 18 percent more workers to reach jobs in the Cumberland-Galleria area by car within 45 minutes, and up to an eight percent increase in jobs accessibility in other key employment centers.
  • Achieve a 700 percent increase in workers’ ability to reach the Emory/Clifton Corridor by bus or rail within 45 minutes. Other employment centers also experience increase in accessibility, such as Southlake (42 percent) and Town Center (61 percent).

However, not everyone agrees. State Rep. Rich Golick told Smyrna-Vinings Patch .

“The project list developed by the Atlanta Regional Roundtable fails to deliver on reducing traffic congestion, and the project list does not deliver value to the taxpayer,” he told Smyrna-Vinings Patch in an email. “It looks more like an economic development initiative than a traffic congestion initiative.”

Lawmakers may disagree on a solution to traffic congestion, but they don’t deny that it’s a problem for Metro Atlanta.

that he thinks improving metro Atlanta’s transportation infrastructure will increase worker productivity and time spent at the workplace that otherwise would have been spent commuting, he said.

The economy of the region is also negatively impacted when companies don’t consider locating to Atlanta because of traffic.

“We have no idea how many businesses are out there that are considering relocating that the CEO says, ‘Hey, I hear Atlanta traffic is terrible. Let’s not even consider Atlanta,’” Leithead said. “That economic impact is impossible to study because we don’t know how often that happens, but we know it happens (…) We have no idea how often that’s happening, but we think it’s killing us.”

What Smyrna-Vinings intersections make you want to pull your hair out? Do you grind your teeth while trying to exit Atlanta Road to get on Interstate 285? Does the intersection of Paces Ferry and New Paces Ferry roads bring you tears? Tell us in the comments.

Sydney Busby February 27, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Several Smyrna-Vinings Patch Facebook fans have mentioned the intersection of Atlanta Road and Paces Ferry. Here's what one person had to say, "Paces Ferry at South Atlanta where the gentelman was killed last week. That intersection is the WORST!!! I have seen four accidents there in the past few years!"
Brian February 28, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Hands-down, the most annoying thing is not intersections of major roads but center turn lanes where the roads are so congested they really should have medians and U-turns caved out: Concord, S. Cobb Drive and Atlanta Rd. They are not only dangerous with multiple people competing for the center lane from both direction, but they tie people up. Other than that, I am annoyed by the un-synchronized lights between Cobb County and Smyrna along Atlanta Rd near Paces Ferry. 285 from Atlanta Rd doesn't bother me that much since I commute later in the day. The state is also going to be upgrading that interchange soon. South Cobb Drive at Concord Rd is annoying. I usually take Kings Spring to bypass it. Likewise Atlanta Rd at Spring Rd. However, these intersections are not so bad. Campbell Rd and Kings Springs just provide convenient ways to bypass them. Spring Rd at Cumberland Blvd is a really congested intersection and causes problems when it backs up past Spring HIll Parkway. This isn't Smyrna, or public roads, however the intersection inside the Cumberland Mall center, right near the Cumberland Blvd exit, is really horrible with the four way stop. Not on the road, but by the parking garage of the mall. It should be a roundabout.
Amy February 28, 2012 at 01:35 PM
I am surprised there haven't been more accidents at that Cumberland exit given the free for all it becomes when the light changes. And why on earth it is allowed for the CCT buses to turn around through there and further increase the nightmare?? They don't follow the rules of stop signs and not blocking the intersection either.
Amy February 28, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Windy Hill at the 75S entrance is a nightmare because of the people trying to jump into the right turn lane who block the right thru lane. What an incredibly frustrating stretch of road!
J. B. Smith February 28, 2012 at 04:54 PM
I think one of the worst examples of traffic planning I've ever seen is the Cumberland Blvd / Hargrove Rd / Cobb Pkwy intersection by the PetSmart store. There's that dead-end and the crazy entrance--totally confusing!
J. B. Smith February 28, 2012 at 04:54 PM
and I agree about the one at Cumberland Mall, too.
Roger N February 28, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Atlanta Road at 285 was slated to be converted to a cloverleaf layout some time ago, but not sure where that stands now. I remember reading it would wipe out the Pilot truck stop there, which I wouldn't mind at all!
R. Anderson February 28, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Starting in the late 70s early 80s the intersection at Windy Hill & 41 became a problem. At one time I was told it was the worst intersection for accidents in GA or the US. Can't remember which. In the mid 90s they talked of building a road parallel to Windy Hill to relieve the traffic. Then they installed the cameras which made it a money maker. It will be a while before anything is done. Change comes slow to Cobb Co. Pilot owns that land and they've said they will never move. It anything is done they will have to work around them.
R. Anderson February 28, 2012 at 11:25 PM
They re-routed those roads and that's why you have that craziness. After it was first done I got caught in there trying to figure out how to get to where I wanted to go.
R. Anderson February 28, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Stoner and Tielhet said it was too difficult to synchronize the traffic lights. Too many jurisdictions involved. In 1996 before the Olympics there was talk of synchronizing the lights in the Atlanta area.
Patricia Kerigan February 29, 2012 at 03:28 PM
When I am traveling through that intersection(Windy Hill and Cobb Pkwy), I hold my breath hoping I can get through it without a: the light changing and the traffic camera capturing my license plate b: I don't get hit broadside c: I don't get stuck halfway through the intersection while other drivers jockey for the three lanes on Wind Hill. I guess the best thing to do is close my eyes, hope for the best and slam my foot on the accelerator like everyone else......
L. Davis February 29, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Those cameras take real pretty, colorful, high def pictures. A friend of mine got one. As soon as that light changes to red, zap!, they've got a picture. And you get a ticket.

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