Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Atlanta: Where You Can Pay to Be in the Fast Lane

peach pass

I was in Atlanta over the weekend for the first time in 2 years, and so much has changed since I lived there 7ish years ago.

The neighborhoods around Emory are full of new shops, new roundabouts, and new buildings.

Apparently, you can smoke in bars and restaurants in Virginia-Highlands. After living in places with smoking bans for years, it was surreal and almost like time traveling to step into a bar and smell cigarette smoke. Blech. No thanks.

But the thing that several of us former Atlantans noticed was the Peach Pass sign. Rather than trying to be environmentally conscious and encourage the bazillions of Atlanta drivers to try to carpool or ditch their giant SUVs for a Prius or Leaf, they opted for something else. The HOV lane that you see in many cities is a “pay for the privilege” lane in Atlanta.

Let that sink in.

They basically converted the fast lane into a toll lane. Atlanta said screw easing traffic congestion (if you’ve never driven in Atlanta, count yourself lucky) through expanding MARTA service (hahaha), halting the sprawl (hahaha), or giving you an incentive to drive a more eco-friendly car. We’re going to sell toll chips that are scanned at certain points on I-85 so YOU GET TOLLED PER MILE FOR USING THE FAST LANE.

Atlanta, I stayed ITP (inside the Perimeter or I-285) because I hated your traffic, but this is just…special. I’m truly speechless at this idea.

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2 Responses to “Atlanta: Where You Can Pay to Be in the Fast Lane”

  1. 1

    Ted — December 6, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

    They just opened the same type of lanes in the Northern Virginia area. Toll lanes with variable pricing depending on the amount of traffic:

    https://www.495expresslanes.com/

    • ehalvey replied: — December 7th, 2013 @ 9:54 am

      Interesting!

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