Automobile traffic jams have always been a problem. From the past decade until today, the amount of people driving has increased tremendously, therefore crowding the highways particularly in major cities. Since Atlanta is one of US’s most important cities, it is not an exception to the case. Along the next paragraphs I will discuss problems concerning specifically Ga. 400 highway, which I believe is the worst in Atlanta when it comes to automobile traffic.
Ga. 400 made dreams come true for people who moved from 85 north to the city for approximately a decade. Nowadays Ga. 400 has become the metro Atlanta main street facing major traffic jams at peak times. As Baxter Davis said to the Creative Loafing periodic “ traffic controls my lifestyle, I have to get up at 6:30 am to get my office in Buckhead at 9:00 am, or I have to wait until 9:00 am to leave home; and if it rains it takes me two hours to get home.”Traffic problems as this clear example reflects, involve not only wasting time and rearranging schedules, but they also involve people getting upset and frustrated. Another problem that the traffic brings with it is pollution. When the great number of cars comes to ground-level ozone pollution, the city is one of the countries worst offenders.
Based on the facts that the traffic situation is getting worse day after day and the population is growing fast, a short-term solution is the most appropriate “escape” for the problem. A solution would consist on implementing a rule by the government, restricting the numbers of cars on circulation. The restriction would by applied in car tags, even and odd numbers. The regulation should specify which days odd car tags are allowed to circulate and which days can even car tags are. The implementation of this solution would solve in a short term the large number of cars traveling on Ga. 400. It would not only make people having to find a ride in those “not allowed days” to drive but it would also reduce pollution rates, and make people transport faster to their homes or works. Like I mentioned before, dependence on somebody else’s those days that drivers are not allowed to drive would be the only bad side of the solution. People would need to realize that the advantages are greater than the disadvantages.
Even though they are not in short term, I believe there are more solutions to the problem. One more possible solution would be the construction of an upper highway, as Brazil has in Rio do Janeiro. This double floor highway was very effective solving their lack of space problem between the mountains and the sea. The new artery should be built above the old one and it will double the lanes available for cars. It would also have to be taken into account that in order to build this second floor highway the present traffic should be interrupted and it would cause serious problems during the years of construction. This highway could not be constructed in few years and the cost is extremely high, that is a big disadvantage.
The last most feasible solution to this problem is the expansion of the railroad. A clear example is what we find in Paris, where people don’t worry about using cars and polluting the city. The railroad runs always on time and to any location passengers would please to go, and it is not a matter of traffic conditions to arrive on time, there a subway schedule that provides departure and arrival times without major time differences to the actual time. The disadvantages of this solution are money and time. It would take a long time and high amounts of money to built the facilities. An effective public transportation is unavoidable in mayor cities, as it is Atlanta. An adequate transportation should be built soon due to the fact that drivers are getting tremendously frustrated and the amount of pollution is reaching its limits.
After analyzing the solutions, I think that the best one would be making a tag restriction law. This is a short-term solution that would not only solve the traffic problems but the pollution as well. It would also be the least expensive solution. It is just a matter of people getting used to the restriction and find a way of collaborate with each other offering and receiving rides to their destinies.