Should we avoid Atlanta, GA

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Neal

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May 13, 2009
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East Texas
We hope to make a trip from NE Texas to Charlotte, NC. It looks like the shortest route may be through Atlanta. Seems like I remember reading something like narrow lanes, heavy traffic through Atlanta. What would be the best time to travel through Atlanta? Is this something we should try to avoid? If so, what route would you recommend? Maybe there are other places we should visit on another route?

Any suggestions will be appreciated.
 

bertnspike

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Sebastian
I've gone through Atlanta many times.  The bypasses are just as busy as the main highways.  In my experience, traffic generally keeps moving, unless there's an accident.  I don't bother trying to avoid it, I just put on my big girl panties and sharpen up my patience and take my time.  Spaghetti Junction is something to see, lol.  Trying to miss rush hour is a given.... generally 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  The least troublesome time to drive through Atlanta is 3 a.m., but I'm not gonna do that!

Susan
 

Luca1369

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I live in Atlanta, actually just a bit to the east of town.  Rush hours are to be avoided, like the last poster mentioned, usually 7 A.M to roughly 9:30 AM, and from 3:30 P.M. till almost 7 P.M. depending on traffic and day of the week (Friday being the absolute worst).  If you wish to avoid downtown take I-285.  If you're coming in from Texas on I-20 you can go north to I-85, but this can be a busy route at the wrong time of day.  Going south of Atlanta on I-285 to I-85 is longer but it offers less traffic.  Do you have a CB to check on traffic?  Bear in mind that an accident will cause a delay no matter where you are.

If I were coming in from the west on I-20 and heading north on I-85, and if it were a weekday, and if it was between 10-3, I would definitely take I-20 to I-85/75 in downtown and then head north on I-85.  There's no guarantee of light traffic, ever, but chances are good that unless there's a wreck you'll travel the least miles and make the best time although traffic will be a bit slow until you get past where I-75 and I-85 split.
 

Wizard46

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Mar 12, 2009
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We go through there a lot, never a problem. Just avoid rush hours, take your time and try to anticipate lane changes well in advance.
Enjoy your trip

Jerry
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I've even done well going through toward the end of evening rush hour. You make great time going into the city - highway is empty! Then you catch up with the outbound traffic on the other side, but if it is toward the evening end time mentioned in other posts, you are the tail end of the line-up and it moves along ok. Not freeway speed, but ok.

My afternoon preference is for the straight through path rather than the bypass.
 

COMer

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The last time I went through, during daylight, I swore I would never try it again.  The next time, we stopped when traffic started to pickup and spent several hours at a Wal*Mart.  Had supper, shopped and took a nap.  About 3am, I started out and it was wonderful.  Just me and a few truckers.  I will never do it otherwise, with my trailer.  If i can't do it in the middle of the night, I just won't go!
 

Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

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Not sure where in northeast Texas you are, but Dallas to Charlotte via I-30 and I-40 is only maybe sixty miles farther than using I-20.

I've done both and the upper route if more scenic. That said, running I-20 through Atlanta on Sundays was always good to me.

I used to go back and forth between Columbia, SC and Meridian, MS on I-20 and I had more trouble around Birmingham than Atlanta.  Being on I-20 when something was going on at Talladega will stunt your growth.  8)
 

odie1234

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We travel through Atlanta two to four times a year with the motorhome. As others have said, rush hour can be an issue, and traffic is heavy with aggressive drivers, but not really that big a deal. Since the construction on I285 bypass is mostly done, I have found that route to be easier than to go through downtown on 75. Take your time, watch for which lane to be in (a good GPS and copilot can help), time your trip between 10 am and 2 pm, and you should be fine. If there is an accident and you get stuck in traffic, relax, they get cleared eventually. Have a safe trip.
 

Frank Hurst

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The good and the bad:

I40: You have Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville and the mountains when you enter NC from Tenn. (Check with road information about land slides around the Tenn, NC lines)  Route is more scenic.

I20: At mile post 104 just west of Birmingham, take I459 that bypasses B'ham to the south. Almost the same distance with some less traffic. Atlanta: Best to go through on Sunday if you can. During the week travel before 6:30am, between 9 & 3 or after 7pm. If I were coming in on I20, I would stay on I20 until I reached I295 east, turn north on I295 to I85. If I were traveling on Sunday I would turn north on I85 and travel  through the middle of town.

Son and daughter did live in Atlanta, another daughter lives in Knoxville. First daughter now lives in Wake Forrest, NC. I drive through B'ham, Knoxville, Atlanta and over the mountains several times a year.
 

Neal

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East Texas
Thanks to all for the good information.
I think we will try going through between 10 AM & 2PM & hope for the best.
Hopefully it isn't much worse than Houston or Dallas. We have done them during rush hour.
Will try to let you know the outcome.
 

catawba1

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Aug 31, 2010
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Have drove this several times in our RV , like others have said try to avoid rush hours , also the NASCAR race is in Oct. and traffic will be heavy at times near Gaffny S.C. to Kings MT. N.C. as I 85 is just 2 lanes , but it will open up to 4 lanes after Kings Mt Exit. It is 4 /6 lanes from Kings Mt to Charlotte with heavy Traffic at the 85 /77 interchange ,  I do believe the speed limit will drop from 70 to 55  in spots . We are just 45 mins North of Charlotte and travel 77 and 85 a lot in our RV and find it no Different than any other car & truck jungle. Have a safe trip.
 

tvman44

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Went through Atlanta pulling the 5er once and decided I don't think I will try that again.
 

Neal

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May 13, 2009
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East Texas
Near I-285 bypass, their was a sign, "All vehicles with more than 6 wheels must take I-285". Since we were chicken with out 10 wheels, we took the bypass. Went through about 10:30 AM. Was able to drive the speed limit most all way through. Also did not have any trouble changing lanes. We thought it was a great pass through.
 

Flyboy

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Mar 9, 2010
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Texas
I lived in Atlanta for 6 years. Late morning was always the least congested.  Excellent traffic info can be had on a local radio station frequency 750 AM. 
 
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