GDOT: Closed ramps on Downtown Connector during rush hour - CBS46 News

GDOT: Closed ramps on Downtown Connector during rush hour

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Georgia's Department of Transportation (GDOT) is planning a pilot project that would close three southbound ramps along the downtown connector during the evening rush hour.

The agency said closing the ramps would improve traffic flow along the interstate by limiting the number of drivers getting on and off.

"There's lane hopping, merging and jockeying in just a short, two-mile section of the downtown connector," said Natalie Dale, a GDOT spokeswoman.

Dale said there are currently nine on and off ramps along the connector, five times the number engineers recommend to keep traffic moving smoothly.

The pilot project calls for closing the following ramps:  the southbound on ramps at Edgewood Avenue and Ellis Street, and the off ramp at Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.

"Oh no, that's a bad idea," said Jonathan D'Apice, a student at Georgia State University who uses the Edgewood ramp to get to and from school.  "This is all Georgia State's traffic here getting on 20 and 285 so it's a bad idea."

Other motorists agreed the ramp closings would do more harm than good.

"I think it's a mess," said driver Angela Bush.  "It's already a mess right here but to close that in the midst of all this.  They don't need to do that."

GDOT said the ramps would close only from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.  And the agency stresses the project would be only a 30-day trial.  If it is successful, it would be implemented permanently.

"You'd have to ask the person who's two minutes late to their kids soccer game, how important that two minutes was if they miss their kid score a goal. How valuable is your time to you?" said Dale.

GDOT is now talking with those who will be impacted by the project including Georgia State University, Grady Hospital and the Atlanta Braves.  No timetable on when the project will start has been set yet.

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