People seem to like talking about traffic. They lament about the length of their commute, getting around their neighborhoods and shopping centers, and how traffic is the excuse for their typical tardiness.
Atlanta’s ITP traffic is an especially favorite source of discussion. How it’s gotten “so much worse” over the years to get from OTP to X, Y, or Z.
It’s true that Atlanta has a lot of work to do on the transportation front. But the reality is, OTP is no better. Some of us lived OTP for more than 20 years. From personal experience, we know that traveling to, from, and around neighborhoods in Cherokee, Cobb, Gwinnett, Forsyth, and North Fulton, you’re not getting anywhere fast from 7-9/9:30 am or 4-6:30/7 pm. Whether you’re headed to the grocery store, the kids’ practices, an exercise class, or a breakfast meeting, you need at least 20 extra minutes during rush hours. Not to mention the outpour of people going OTP after the workday like the ones pictured here…
In truth, ITP traffic is no worse than OTP traffic. In fact, we think that the perks of being ITP – and within walking distance to many of the places we HAVE to drive OTP – is far better. We’re not saying that everyone living ITP – or even most people – are walking or biking to buy groceries or go out for the evening. At least not yet. What we are saying is that when you’re ITP, you’re usually 50% closer to “everything”. You don’t have to drive 20 minutes through side streets to finally make it onto the highway to start your journey to the airport, Piedmont Park, the theatre, great restaurants, or anywhere else. You’re more than halfway here!
So, IS traffic an issue? Of course it is. That’s why we just passed transportation and MARTA tax bills that are contributing to creating a better infrastructure. It’s why the City Design, BeltLine, and “100 Resilient Cities” projects that include more buses and bike paths, and streetcars are so great.
Change isn’t going to happen overnight, but it is happening. It’s a great time to think about the real differences of ITP vs. OTP. Traffic isn’t one of them. We can (and will) tell you many others – like community and safety – that aren’t either. In the meantime, think about how you want to Live ITP Atlanta – and contact us to help!