Traffic in Atlanta is already abysmal if you leave at the wrong time on a regular day. The holidays, with all the hustle and bustle of people going home for Thanksgiving, will be even worse, if you leave at a top travel time.
This year, beat the traffic (as much as you can), and schedule your departure time at a lower density traffic time! We’ve got the stats from last year, as well as this year’s predictions, so you can beat the traffic and get home safely!
Anticipated Traffic Conditions for before Thanksgiving
11Alive predicts that the “heaviest traffic and congestion” will be Wednesday, November 22nd between 12pm and 6pm. If you can at all avoid leaving during this time, definitely do. Monday and Tuesday of this week (November 20th and November 21st) there is expected to be moderate traffic, and Thursday (which is Thanksgiving itself) and Friday there is expected to be light traffic. If your travel is going to happen midday on Wednesday, remember to drive very alert and carefully. And bring a little coffee for the road. (Might we suggest one of these amazing local coffee shops?)
Anticipated Traffic Conditions for after Thanksgiving
For the return home, 11Alive moderate traffic on Saturday, November 25th and Monday, November 27th. Sunday, November 26th is reported to have “heavy traffic and a high potential for crashes.”
Past Travel Trends
According to 11Alive,
- I-20 eastbound: travelers should expect congestion on Wednesday, Nov. 23, heading into metro Atlanta, and westbound congestion on Sunday, Nov. 27, heading towards Alabama.
- I-75: travelers should expect to have heavy congestion southbound and northbound coming out of Atlanta in Stockbridge. Expect delays.
- I-85 and I-185: travelers should expect congestion in west Georgia near Alabama.
- I-24 eastbound: travelers should expect congestion near Chattanooga.
- I-16 westbound: travelers should expect congestion leaving Savannah, and I-16 eastbound congestion entering Savannah.
Is Georgia doing anything to help with the traffic?
Actually, yes! This year to aid with travel-related traffic, the Georgia Department of Transportation will “temporarily suspend lane closures on Georgia interstates, major state routes, and roads near major shopping centers, malls, or districts during the Thanksgiving weekend.”
This suspension will begin on 5 am on Wednesday, November 22nd and last until 10 pm on Sunday, November 26th. The GDOT hopes this will help traffic flow better and avoid accidents during the Thanksgiving holiday.