Atlanta has traffic that only a personal injury lawyer could love.  But I’m a personal injury lawyer, and I don’t love our traffic. 

A survey several months ago decided that our  traffic is the 10th worst among major cities in the U.S.  Los Angeles ranked  worst, followed by New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Dallas-Fort Worth, San Francisco, Houston, Boston, Seattle and Atlanta. I found that surprising. In recent years whenever I have had occasion to drive in New York or L.A., my reaction has been that there traffic wasn’t as bad as ours.

I thought another report was more realistic, ranking metro Atlanta as tied for the second-highest level of traffic congestion as measured in hours of delay per rush hour driver.

Now the U.S. Department of Transportation has announced plans to help the Georgia DOT reduce traffic congestion on I-85 north.   The plan will let more drivers use HOV lanes on I-85 north, and build up high-speed commuter bus service into downtown.

The first phase  will involve a network of variably priced high-occupancy toll  (Hot lanes)lanes on I-85,  from I-285 to Old Peachtree Road, by January 2011. Future phases of the congestion relief plan will include a 49-mile network of additional HOV-to-HOT lane conversions along I-85, I-75 and I-20.

Also included is a $30 million grant for increased commuter bus service to operate on the newly converted expressways.

Ken Shigley is an Atlanta, Georgia trial attorney A Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, he has been listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, as a "Super Lawyer" (Atlanta Magazine) and among the "Legal Elite" (Georgia Trend Magazine).  He is currently Secretary of the 40,000 member State Bar of Georgia. He is available for free consultations  about serious injury and wrongful death caes, either online or by toll-free call to (877) 778-7944