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Monday, May 14, 2012

Open Ga. 400 shoulder to traffic? My, that's a terrible idea!

Motorists traveling south on Ga. Hwy. 400 can now drive for several miles along the right shoulder — which previously was only available for buses and emergency vehicles — for three hours each weekday morning. State transportation officials have acknowledged in the past that the makeshift measure won't have any real impact on easing traffic ("It's just a little bit better utilization of the asset," Georgia Department of Transportation Keith Golden said last month.")

And things aren't working out too well. Reporteth Ariel Hart:

The new setup didn't appear to be helping much, as bumper-to-bumper traffic was reported between Windward Parkway and Northridge Road. The first report of a wreck in the emergency lane came in around 8:30 as the WSB Radio Traffic Center reported that a car hit the guardrail south of Northridge.

Channel 2 Action News reported that the car was driven by a former NFL player, Larry Roberts, who played defensive end for the San Francisco 49ers from 1986 to 1993. Roberts was arrested and charged with driving on a suspended license, Channel 2 said.

What's most frustrating is that the shoulders were reinforced years ago to accommodate buses, allowing them to bypass the toll road's notorious gridlock. Those days are over. People who attempt to do the right thing to help ease congestion by taking transit now have to endure the same stop-and-go traffic as motorists.

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