01/16/07, revised 1/17/07
Read the letter in Adobe PDF Format (recommended)
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Link to NBCA's May 2006 Letter on GA 400 PPI
If it matters, in many places I85 is used when I think it is meant to reflect I285.
Thanks for always keeping us updated!
We really are talking about I-85, not I-285. I know it is hard to think about the I-85 - GA 400 interchange as it should have been rather than the interchange we are used to dealing with.
I'll give you an example of why we're talking about I-85: When I am on southbound I-85 near Clairmont and I want to get to my house on North Ivy Road, I normally get off at I-85's North Druid Hills Road exit and then take Roxboro and Peachtree-Dunwoody. It would be easier and friendlier to the neighborhoods along the way if I had the option of taking the new exit we propose near Lenox/Cheshire Bridge that would loop around and OVER Sidney Marcus onto northbound GA 400, so I could exit at the Buckhead Loop.
Another example: Let's say I am in Midtown or at Atlantic Station and want to get on the northbound expressway to get onto GA 400. I will actually end up on the Buford Highway extension (if don't go down to Linden Ave by Crawford Long hospital to get on the real I-85). Unfortunately, there is no direct link from Buford Highway to GA 400 -- either you get off at Lenox and loop around on Sidney Marcus to reach GA 400, or you get off at Piedmont and drive up to Sidney Marcus to rejoin GA 400. Wouldn't Buckhead traffic be a lot better if there was a ramp from northbound Buford Highway directly to GA 400?
Further, when GA 400 backs up at I-85, motorists on GA 400 get off at the Buckhead Loop and cause gridlock throughout Buckhead, occasionally backing Wieuca up to North Ivy, Statewood or even further north. That's why we are proposing a dedicated merge lane onto I-85 and new southbound exits at Lindbergh and onto eastbound Sidney Marcus.
These are the kinds of things we are trying to enable. Much of the traffic on Roxboro, much of the traffic on Lenox Road (south of Lenox Square), much of the traffic on Sidney Marcus, and much of the traffic on Piedmont south of Sidney Marcus is there simply because the I-85 - GA 400 interchange is so inadequate. Many Buckhead gridlocks originate at the I-85 interchange. Most people don't realize our traffic is so bad simply because the GDOT didn't have enough money to complete the I-85 - GA 400 interchange (for which they had plans) when they originally built GA 400.
I hope this clarifies what we were talking about.
I have heard of HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lanes. What are HOT lanes?
HOT stands for high-occupancy toll. Depending on how they are implemented, HOT lanes might be free for vehicles currently able to use HOV lanes but might have a fixed toll (perhaps a monthly subscription) or a variable toll (related to time of day or level of congestion) for cars with single passengers. For the purpose of understanding NBCA's letter, assume HOT means essentially the same concept as HOV.