Although holidays typically have an impact on traffic, the Georgia Department of Transportation is projecting that impact will vary during the Labor Day weekend depending on where drivers are going and when they are going there.
GDOT issued a traffic advisory ahead of the holiday weekend to let area drivers know what kind on traffic they can expect on various days of the weekend. State transportation officials defined the holiday travel period as having started Thursday and continuing through Monday.
"Georgia DOT today released traffic forecasts for metro Atlanta surface streets that specify the best and worst times to travel over the Labor Day holiday, one of the busiest travel periods of the year," the state's transportation officials said. "The forecasts are based on an analysis of traffic patterns in eight parts of the metro Atlanta region leading up to and through the Labor Day holiday in 2017 and 2018."
The chart breaks up metro Atlanta in to eight areas including Buckhead, the north perimeter, downtown, northeast Atlanta, northwest Atlanta, east Atlanta, west Atlanta and south Atlanta. Each area is colored to show how heavy traffic is expected to be on those days. It also lists the worst times to be on the roads in those areas on each day of the holiday weekend.
The first issues with heavier than normal traffic are expected to show up in the northwest and east parts of Atlanta Thursday. The worst times to be in those areas will be between 8 and 10 a.m. Thursday.
Downtown Atlanta's traffic is expected to be heavier than usual Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The worst times are expected to be 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday and 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday.
But its not all bad traffic news on the list. GDOT officials are expecting traffic to be better than average — light in fact — in northeast, east, south and west Atlanta on Saturday and Sunday.
Northeast, south and west Atlanta are also expected to see better than usual traffic on Labor Day.
South and west Atlanta are expected to have better than average traffic on Thursday as well.
But not every day can be a winner during the holiday period. Across the board, GDOT expects Friday's traffic to be as heavy as it usually is.