Reversible lanes counter direction and counter congestion
August 12, 2014 11:55 PM | 3387 views | 9 9 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Details are coming into focus about the $834 million reversible express lanes project to be constructed in Cobb and Cherokee counties — and the picture is looking better and better.

The state Department of Transportation released a detailed description last week of the project, indicating there will be seven additional on/off ramps constructed to service the new lanes.

One will be at the Interstate 75/Akers Mill Road intersection, followed by others at the 75/I-285 intersection, Terrell Mill Road, Roswell Road in Marietta, the I-75/I-575 junction, Big Shanty Road in Kennesaw and Hickory Grove Road in Acworth.

Two reversible lanes will be built between the I-75 intersection/Akers Mill Road intersection and the I-75 intersection with I-575 in north Cobb.

One reversible lane will be added to the portion of 575 between the I-75/575 junction and Hickory Grove Road.

And one reversible lane will be added along the portion of I-75 between the 575 intersection and Sixes Road in Cherokee County.

Those lanes will run parallel to the existing highway, but there will not be access from the reversible lanes onto I-75. But three “slip ramps” will be built between the 75/575 merge at Kennesaw and Sixes Road (at Sixes, Shallowford Road and Big Shanty Road) to allow access from the reversible lanes onto 575.

The state has decided to build most of those access points for the new lanes away from the existing entrance/exit points to the interstates in order to not worsen the congestion at those exits.

“We wanted to put the new exits where interchanges weren’t already in place, so that we don’t increase traffic in those areas,” project manager John Hancock told the MDJ.

Construction will start in about a year.

The state had been a latecomer to the reversible lane concept, but it was embraced by Gov. Nathan Deal not long after he took office four years ago as a welcome way to help address congestion in the metro area.

Traffic will flow southbound during the morning rush hour and northbound during the evening rush hour on the new lanes, but details have not been announced in terms of what time the switchovers will take place each day.

Likewise, the state has yet to announce the locations for the toll booths for the new lanes, or what the pricing structure will be for the tolls. It is known, however, that the state will use variable price tolling, meaning the cost will fluctuate based on congestion levels on the interstate.

Groundbreaking is set for September.

“I think the managed lanes project is going to be an absolute positive project to help ease some of the transportation concerns,” Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee said.

We are confident that the new lanes will go far toward easing that congestion as well. And if that proves the case, we would urge the state to consider the reversible-lane approach for other corridors as well.

Comments
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LaraJ
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August 16, 2014
I lived in Gwinnett alongside Highway 78 which was a reversible lane system, for a decade or more, between Stone Mtn and Snellville. It was incredibly dangerous and claimed many lives and profound injuries in its duration.

County officials finally changed the road back to the traditional fixed lane system. Unfortunately too many people paid the price for a poorly planned concept.

I hope Cobb has spoken with transportation officials in Gwinnett regarding Highway 78 Reversible Ln. system and has learned from their mistakes.
Be Careful
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August 15, 2014
I have driven in cities with reversable lanes and they work GREAT.

However, with only 2 lanes for such a short distance, having to pay a toll, continued population growth and lengthly construction time, don't expect any significant congestion relief.

It's just not a realistic expectation.

they r great
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August 18, 2014
Reversible lanes are great in some places, but have you driven reversible lanes here? Hwy 5 / Canton Rd had reversible lanes for over twenty years. Where are they now? They are gone because people are just too stupid for reversible lanes here in Georgia. The day reversible lanes will work in Georgia is the day computers do all our driving for us!
The 53%
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August 15, 2014
In three weeks I'll be moving to Brookhaven and the "toll" road is one of the main reasons why. The drive is so bad on 75, it's inhuman. Having to pay a toll to drive on a highway that I already pay taxes toward is disgusting, especially considering the hundreds of millions that were spent on roads and bridges in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are no tolls there, are there?

Good riddance Cobb County!
adios roswell st
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August 14, 2014
Roswell St is the primary route under I-75 for non-car road users. Freeway access right there throws them under the bus, the SUVs, the motorbikes, the cars, and everyone else tearing on and off the freeway as fast as they can possibly go.

Reversible lanes.. Why on Earth are we making our roadways even more complex and thinking it will ease congestion? Let's face it: People here are either too dumb or too arrogant & distracted to use reversible lanes. No matter where they're built, they are taken back out due to all the crashes. People here will go careening into the physical barrier at 85 mph because they will have their face in their phones and blindly drive the way they drove earlier without considering whether that way is open or barricaded.

Why are we doing this? It's because we will only put good money after bad and keep trying to find the magic tweak that will make our system of cars work.

This caste system where we refuse to put money into transit because "nobody but the poor uses it" is of course a stalemate. As long as we hold down public transit, nobody will use it unless they have to and REALIZE they have to (though millions of Atlanta area residents situations do dictate that they need to use public transit but they don't realize it and spend money on a car anyway)

We need a constitutional amendment in this ridiculous state that every transportation fee-tax dollar be split in half between roads and public transit so every resident can make a choice between transportaion via a public system or transporting themselves in a private transportation vehicle they will operate on our socialist roadways.

That's right, transportation dollars should be divvied up 50/50 between "more roads" and public transit work that actually includes something that moves people. That way everybody can make their own choice about how to get to work.

The car lovers should support such a consititutional amendment, as it would keep them in business beyond the end of the lifespan of the personal motor vehicle as a preferred means of daily commuting. It will keep the roads around for trips to Costo/Sams, road trips, weekend holidays, Disney World, the beach, all those things where a car might be a good idea.

Agree with Crazy
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August 13, 2014
Who chose these entrances and exits to the toll lane? Its like the billion dollar toll road to nowhere. I want to get off at a road to somewhere like North or south Marietta Parkway or Canton Road, not some secondary road like Terrell Mill. Fire the designers of this waste.
Wrong exit locations
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August 13, 2014
Crazy you can't get on or off at the Loops. It will be nice to have an exit at Roswell road heading East, but too bad that there are no 4 lane roads to take anyone East except via the slow Roswell road. Why would anyone use that exit or entrance when even in slow traffic the loop exits are a better alternative. What a waste unless you are going to the Big Chicken.
Rpad tp nowhere
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August 14, 2014
You are correct, road to nowhere. This was probably designed by the same crowd that built the I-85/400 interchange with no connection going north. Soon they will ask for more money to add exits and entrances that go where the drivers are going. This plan makes no sense.
right for the rich
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August 14, 2014
You will be able to get on and off the loops after the reverisble HOV lanes are declared a failure and converted to Pay-to-Play Lexus Lanes like happened on I-85.

This of course means only the most self-important drivers in town will be using the new Roswell St interchange. I am sure the old Long John Silvers and Subway and Wing Shack will soon occupy ambulance chasing attorneys who will sit out front waiting for the pedestrians, our poorest residents, to be run over by the self important who pay no attention to a red light, a yield sign, a crosswalk or a pedestrian using the crosswalk because, BY GOD THEY NEED TO TURN RIGHT, RIGHT NOW, IMMEDIATELY IMMEDIATELY IMMEDIATELY because they are so important and their jobs making owner/CEOs rich guys even richer is so important that they have to be there RIGHT NOW!
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