Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Atlanta Traffic - A Part of the Equation in my Law Practice

I returned from an early morning meeting here in Metro Atlanta. For some folks it is hard to appreciate the jams drivers face each day here (unless you live in DC, NY or L.A.). Today's traffic jam headed northbound away from the city was by my estimate eighteen miles long.

My trip from the meeting place this morning to my office is usually twenty five minutes. Today? An hour and a half. Trip mileage? Twenty miles.

The traffic has become so bad that for many of my frequent trips to Birmingham, Alabama for business, what is usually a 2.5 hour trip one way sometimes turns becomes a nearly five hour odyssey if I try to leave Atlanta during early rush hour (after 3:30 p.m.).

I'll post pics shortly of a typical, dry, otherwise carefree morning today that turned into a quagmire because of one wreck on a highway where the flow is going the opposite way of rush hour traffic.

You can imagine what this does to scheduling even mundane matters. My office tries to avoid setting hearing or depositions that begin before 10 A.M. or start after 2 P.M. because of traffic. It is not unusual for me to leave 90 minutes before a 9 A.M. hearing - for a travel distance of less than 30 miles. My worst trip time was more than two and a half hours on a 40 mile drive (one way) after a late afternoon deposition. Rain, wrecks, a winter day where the sun went down at 50 PM or so.