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Expect Significant Delays: Bridge Work for NWC Express Lanes Requires Multiple Lane Closures and Night Time Ramp Detour at the I-75/I-285 Interchange

WHAT:          Weather permitting, day time and night time lane closures as well as a night time detour will take place for bridge construction within the NWC project corridor at the I-75/ I-285 Interchange:  Expect significant delays and avoid this area, if possible, as I-75 Northbound and I-75 Southbound will experience both day time and night time lane closures.

WHEN:          Beginning Friday, April 15th at 10:00 p.m. through Monday, April 18th at 5:00 a.m.

WHERE:      

Friday, April 15th

I-75 Northbound Impacts:

                        Night time Lane Closures: Triple left lane closures on I-75 Northbound near I-285 between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m.

I-75 Southbound Impacts:

                        Night time Lane Closures: Double right lane closures on I-75 Southbound, including the ramp lane. The I-75 Southbound to I-285 Eastbound ramp (Exit 259A) will be closed (see detour information below). Closures will occur between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m.

                        Detour: Night time only: the I-75 Southbound ramp to I-285 Eastbound Collector Lanes (Exit-259A) will be closed between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. Traffic will need to take the primary ramp (Exit-259) to access I-285 Eastbound from I-75 Southbound.

                        I-75 Night time Traffic Pacing: Both I-75 Southbound and I-75 Northbound lanes will experience intermittent traffic pacing between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m.  This will consist of police and project vehicles slowing the pace of traffic in order to have bridge beams safely placed over the interstate.

Saturday, April 16th

I-75 Northbound Impacts:

                        Day time Lane Closures: Double left lanes closures on I-75 Northbound near I-285 between the hours of 5 a.m. -10 p.m.

                        Night time Lane Closures: Triple left lane closures on I-75 Northbound near I-285 between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m.

I-75 Southbound Impacts:

                        Day time Lane Closures: Single right lane closure on I-75 Southbound including the ramp lane between the hours of 5 a.m. – 10 p.m. The I-75 Southbound to I-285 Eastbound ramp (Exit-259A) will remain open.

                        Night time Lane Closures: Double right lane closures on I-75 Southbound, including the ramp lane. The I-75 Southbound to I-285 Eastbound ramp (Exit 259A) will be closed (see detour information below). Closures will occur between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m.

                        Detour: Night time only the I-75 Southbound ramp to I-285 Eastbound Collector Lanes (Exit-259A) will be closed between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. Traffic will need to take the primary ramp (Exit-259) to access I-285 Eastbound from I-75 Southbound.

                        I-75 Night time Traffic Pacing: Both I-75 Southbound and I-75 Northbound lanes will experience intermittent traffic pacing between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m.  This will consist of police and project vehicles slowing the pace of traffic in order to have bridge beams safely placed over the interstate.

Sunday, April 17th:

I-75 Northbound Impacts:

                        Day time Lane Closures: Double left lanes closures on I-75 Northbound near I-285 between the hours of 5 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 16th and Sunday, April 17th.

                        Night time Lane Closures: Triple left lane closures on I-75 Northbound near I-285 between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m.

 I-75 Southbound Impacts:

                        Day time Lane Closures: Single right lane closure on I-75 Southbound including the ramp lane between the hours of 5 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 16th and Sunday, April 17th. The I-75 Southbound to I-285 Eastbound ramp (Exit-259A) will remain open.

                        Night time Lane Closures: Double right lane closures on I-75 Southbound, including the ramp lane. The I-75 Southbound to I-285 Eastbound ramp (Exit 259A) will be closed (see detour information below). Closures will occur between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. on Friday, April 15th, Saturday, April 16th and Sunday, April 17th.

                        Detour: Night time only: the I-75 Southbound ramp to I-285 Eastbound Collector Lanes (Exit-259A) will be closed between the hours of 10 p m – 5 a.m. on Friday, April 15th, Saturday, April 16th and Sunday, April 17th. Traffic will need to take the primary ramp (Exit-259) to access I-285 Eastbound from I-75 Southbound.

                        I-75 Night time Traffic Pacing: Both I-75 Southbound and I-75 Northbound lanes will experience intermittent traffic pacing between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m.  This will consist of police and project vehicles slowing the pace of traffic in order to have bridge beams safely placed over the interstate.

 

ADVISORY: Motorists are advised to exercise caution while driving in these areas. On-site message boards indicating dates, times and detour routes will be present in advance of these closures.

Additional construction and traffic impact information and detour maps are available at the NWC Project website at http://www.dot.ga.gov/DS/GEL/NWC.

  



When I’m not helping Atlanta commuters achieve commute-life balance, I teach yoga to help people achieve balance in other areas. And in a recent worlds-colliding moment, I discovered that one of my yoga students is also a Georgia Commute Options 25,000 Commuter Champion. Carol Ugonna, a teacher at Fickett Elementary School in Atlanta, has been carpooling daily to work for eight years.

Carol began carpooling with a teacher who has since retired.  By that time, she was so happy with sharing the ride that she recruited another teacher and encouraged him to give it a try.  Though he was hesitant at first because of the perceived loss of freedom, over time he has become Carol’s permanent daily commute partner.  Both Carol and her partner are enrolled in the Guaranteed Ride Home program, which Carol has used when things pop up in her schedule requiring her to stay after school hours.

Like all of our Commuter Champions, Carol saves quite a bit of money sharing the ride. In fact, she has saved over $16,000 by carpooling. The days that she does not have to drive she spends her time in the car grading papers, going over lesson plans and returning phone calls.  She has also earned money by logging her commutes on the Georgia Commute Options electronic logging calendar.  In recent years, she has been a $25 Prizes winner three times.  Her partner has won twice.  Carpooling has also led to both of having better attendance at work by helping them arrive earlier.

And as a student of yoga, Carol appreciates one specific benefit of carpooling above others: anxiety reduction. 

Six years ago, Carol experienced panic attack on the expressway as she was returning from work. Since then, her anxiety mounts when she even thinks of driving on the expressway — so she avoids it and uses the back roads.  She still does not drive long distances.

When I asked Carol how she deals with her driving anxiety, she surprised me with her answer.  “I use what I learned in yoga class.  I face my fear.  I know that I must drive to get to places, I simply avoid the interstate.  If I begin to feel panic, I use deep, parallel breathing.”  Parallel breath is a yogic breathing technique.  Inhalations and exhalations, each lasting the same amount of time, are done through the nose only.  Parallel breath is how the mind communicates to the body during a yoga practice.  It can also be used “off the mat” in everyday life as a means of calming the nerves and reducing anger and anxiety.

Having a partner to share the ride is also helpful in reducing Carol’s anxiety.  She just drives a short distance to meet her partner and they alternate cars (though the partner is the default designated driver).

Carol’s enthusiasm for Georgia Commute Options has caught the attention of an additional teacher at Fickett Elementary.  The teacher lives near Carol, and Carol has invited her to join the carpool.  Carol is hoping to expand her carpool to three, which would qualify the carpool for an additional benefit, the $40-$60 Gas Cards Program.

Thank you, Carol, for your contribution to reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality in Atlanta.  We could use more Commuter Champions just like you!

Are you ready to start an anxiety-free commute—and win cash and prizes for it? Find a carpool or vanpool partner here and get on the road to a better commute today!



March is Women’s History Month. Throughout history, women have joined together to advance causes worth fighting for — from suffrage to civil rights to the fight against domestic violence. That’s how we know Georgia women have the power to take on a new issue facing metro Atlanta: Healthier air for our children and clearer, safer roads for our region.

It’s no secret: our region has a transportation problem. Our clogged roadways not only threaten our safety and waste our time — they also result in a build-up of air pollution that threatens the health of every breather out there. It’s hard to give our jobs and families our best when we’re hindered by traffic. It’s time to take action against the number of cars jamming our roads by taking up a very simple protest: sharing the ride! 

Think about it: By choosing to not drive alone to and from work — whether through carpooling, vanpooling, biking, walking or riding transit — you’ll be joining a movement to get cars off the road and pollutants out of our air. That’s because for every person taking an alternative to driving alone, there’s one less car out on the roads. Georgia Commute Options wants to help you do your part — and we’d even like to reward you with cash for giving it a try! If enough of us join this movement, think about the difference we could make for Metro Atlanta’s traffic and air for generations to come.

This Women’s History Month, think about all the women of action throughout history — and think about becoming one of them. Join women all over the region working for a better, healthier Atlanta, one ride at a time. And if you’d like to find other woman warriors to carpool with, you can use our online ridematching tool at GaCommuteOptions.com! Find a ride buddy and join the movement today.

Lesley Carter is a communications specialist and the voice of Georgia Commute Options social media. As a car-free Atlantan, she knows how to get creative when getting from A to B — and she’s eager to help other commuters discover their non-driving potential. Lesley’s previous credits include ad copywriting, editing, blogging and youth outreach.



In December 2011, my resolution was not to make resolutions ever again…save one: to live a life that I love. A life I love is filled with compassion, non-judgment, empathy, humor and kindness to everything that lives.

Now within that broad mindset, I do have one simple rule I have vowed to live by. Some would consider a resolution. I want to be the change(s) that I want to see in the world. I gave some thought to the things in my life that are unpleasant and cannot totally be avoided, and that is where I chose to be the change. I won’t go into the whole list; for the purpose of this blog I will speak to a topic that many metro Atlantans can relate to: the often miserable daily commute.

In the spirit of the Serenity Prayer, let’s apply that loosely to commuting:

Serenity to accept what I cannot change – That’s easy. I’m a single mom who has to work to pay the bills. After my divorce in 2012, I knew I would have to find a better paying job, and I accepted the fact that I would again be driving to Atlanta.

The courage to change what I can – A position came open with the Georgia Commute Options program as part of the Outreach team, and I jumped at the chance. Now I am able to take care of myself and my daughter on my own.  And the best part?  The fact that I get paid to do a job that I love.  I admire the efforts of our team and the generous incentive programs in place to encourage individual commuter behavior change. Our $3 A Day program pays first-time clean commuters up to $100.00 just to try it for 90 days! I am proud that what I do encourages others to join in being the change so many of us would like to see.   

The wisdom to know when I have it better than I ever could have imagined – Ok, so maybe I am back in the car again. It is what it is. But I am afforded the wonderful privilege of teleworking when I do not have to be in the office.  And there are so many winners in this deal.

  1. Georgia Commute Options officially has the world’s most loyal, hardworking employee;
  2. If the weather is inclement to the point of being dangerous, I am not pressured to be on the road, thereby staying out of the way of emergency responders;
  3. I am proof positive that teleworking WORKS, so part of my efforts in 2015 will be to convince more Atlanta area employers to give teleworking serious consideration.

And finally, the wisdom to know the difference – At Georgia Commute Options, we know alternatives to driving alone are not available for all Atlanta drivers. But until public transportation becomes more a part of the culture of this city, please keep in mind that we are here to answer questions, encourage drivers to participate in our incentive programs, and, well…at least consider being the change you want to see. Happy New Year!

Elaine Mayo is an Account Manager for Georgia Commute Options servicing the 85 South and 75 South areas. She knows long commutes can be hard on the mind, body, and family as she used to have a 90-minute one-way commute. As a yoga teacher and runner, she feels extremely connected to our planet and believes Georgia Commute Options efforts start with each of us as individuals. Elaine is looking to make our region a healthier place for her, her daughter, and future generations.



Ever been stuck in traffic? Of course you have. Ever been stuck in traffic in front of that donut shop that you pass by every day and then must convince yourself not to pull in and order a dozen to take home?

After a long work day, all you want to do is go home and relax, right? Well, traffic congestion quickly puts a damper on your plans. Stuck in a gridlock, tired of changing the radio station, it’s hard not to notice a tasty looking burger sign on your right. Suddenly you realize you are hungry. You decide to grab a quick bite to eat while traffic dies down. “Only this one time,” you tell yourself. Better than sitting in the car, or yelling at the person who cut you off in traffic.

Yet traffic is not a one-day scenario, and that restaurant will keep luring you in. It is time to find a solution. Find a carpool buddy or a wingman to talk you out of ordering that large pizza with an order of fries. Or try transit, because even the richest piece of cake cannot slow that train from getting you home.

The benefits to alternative commute methods are endless — from reduced traffic, to cleaner air, to even a healthier diet. Why not improve not only your environment, but also yourself?

Clara is the Administrative Coordinator for Georgia Commute Options. Clara enjoys film, reading and writing, and cute animals. When not looking at funny cat memes (or taking pictures of her own cat), she can be found at Piedmont Park, either playing recreational volleyball or simply enjoying the outdoors. 



I seldom have to go into an office, as my job can mostly be accomplished via teleworking, unless I’m at a client site. When I do have to make the trek up to my office in the Perimeter area (45 min – 1 hr in traffic), I choose to ride my bike and take the train as often as I can. I much prefer being able to get some exercise and clear my head rather than sit in stressful bumper-to-bumper traffic and be part of the problem. As they say, you’re not in traffic you are traffic.

My wife and I both work, so we take turns dropping my daughter off at her school. When it’s my turn, I try to take the bike as often as possible. Aside from the physical and environmental benefits, it’s just fun! I love having my “co-pilot” help me navigate and generally just laugh and point out interesting things along the way.

Overall, I think it’s important to ride instead of drive as much as you’re comfortable. Even if it’s just down to the park with the kids once a week or around the corner to the store, a little will do a lot of good. Trust me, I drive my car often, but my first instinct when running an errand is whether or not I can ride to accomplish it. The more bikes on the road, the more awareness drivers will have, the more bike infrastructure that will be justifiable, and the less you have to feel bad about that extra cookie you ate…

Jim works for IBM and commutes from Ormewood Park. He bikes an average of 100 miles a week. You can connect with Jim on Twitter @jimbilotto. To see how Jim and IBM are doing in the Atlanta Challenge, click here.



When you suffer through a really long commute every day, you eventually have to face the inevitable: Moving into the office is the only solution. Just think about it: An extra hour of sleep, quick access to your desktop if you need it in off hours, a commute that amounts to only steps. If you think this sounds too good to be true, read on—we’ll give you the tips for making your office-home space as cozy as possible.

  1. Pick a good sleeping spot. The obvious choice is underneath your own desk; it’s already your designated space in the office, and it can offer a little bit of privacy. But if you’d like to spread out more, stake out the conference rooms and communal spaces for the real king-sized experience. Wake up refreshed and ready to work!
  2. Get some shade. Some offices leave the lights on all night and won’t be willing to make a change. But you can still get a good night’s sleep in the dark—just find a reliable sleep mask and it’ll be lights-out at your say so. A good night’s sleep makes for a productive work day.
  3. Master the sink bath. If your office doesn’t have on-site shower facilities, you’ll have to get creative when it comes to bathing in the morning. Fortunately, a quick spritz in the bathroom sink can get you feeling refreshed in no time. Pro tip: Aim for early hours, before the office gets crowded. Also: You may want to barricade the door. You’ll work best when you feel properly groomed.
  4. Set a curfew. Obviously, once your coworkers spy your sweet office-home setup, they’re all going to want to follow your example. That can result in some conflict, as different sleep schedules and styles come to light. The best way to maintain harmony is to establish a “lights out” time (or just a “everybody be quiet” time, if you’re in one of those offices where the lights stay on) so that everyone knows when to stop the chatter. After all, you don’t want after-hours strife to bleed into workday interactions.

It takes some getting used to, but with the right tips, there’s no reason why your office can’t make for a comfortable living space that lets you avoid the nasty commute entirely.

OR….

Like the idea of ditching the commute but can’t quite commit to the office-home lifestyle? Here’s an option for you: Try Telework. Get that extra hour of sleep — in your own bed. Commute a few steps to your workspace. Turn the lights out whenever you want.

PLUS, you’ll be avoiding traffic and doing your part to get cars off the road. Learn more about the benefits of teleworking here!

Lesley Carter is a communications specialist and the voice of Georgia Commute Options social media. As a car-free Atlantan, she knows how to get creative when getting from A to B — and she’s eager to help other commuters discover their non-driving potential. Lesley’s previous credits include ad copywriting, editing, blogging and youth outreach.



I was first offered the opportunity to telework full-time 10 years ago. I jumped at the chance and never looked back. At that time, I lived in Lawrenceville and commuted to Alpharetta. I was thrilled at the prospect of reclaiming countless hours consumed by the daily trek through the gridlock of the metro area’s northern suburbs. With the additional incentive of savings in gas money, I had all the motivation I needed to be a successful home-based teleworker.
In the ensuing decade, I’ve come to appreciate many of the smaller, unexpected benefits of telework. In no particular order, here are a few of my favorite things about working from home:

  • Comfort and control of my environment. I’ve never been the work in pajamas type. My weekday morning routine still includes taking a shower and getting dressed in real clothes. But, every day is a casual day and I never wear shoes. On beautiful spring and fall days, I open my office window. When I’m not on a conference call, I’m enjoying my own iTunes playlist or Pandora station while I work.
  • Reduced stress and increased energy. As a natural introvert, the virtual work environment is a good fit for my personality. Until I began working from home, I didn’t realize how much energy I was expending in daily social interactions at the office. Don’t get me wrong, I have a healthy network of friends and family and I’m in no danger of becoming a hermit. I do enjoy and appreciate my co-workers, but for me, it’s just as effective and much less stressful to interact with my professional colleagues primarily by telephone, email, instant messaging and desktop sharing technology.
  • Work-life balance: the little things. I can put a load of laundry in the washer and grab a healthy snack from my kitchen in the same time it would have taken me to walk to the office break room and buy junk food from the vending machine. I never lose a half-day of work waiting for the cable installer, furniture delivery truck or plumber. If I finish my workday at 5 p.m., by 5:05 p.m. I can be in the kitchen starting dinner, on my way to work out, or winding down with a beverage while catching up on social media.
  • Increased productivity. Even the busy times when my workload requires that I put in extra hours are less stressful and more efficient as a teleworker. There is no need to stay at the office late or lug a laptop and a stack of papers back and forth from my office to home. I can walk away from my desk, eat dinner with my family, and return to my home office for a few late-night or week-end hours when the email onslaught has slowed down and I can actually get some work done.

Not only does telework make my life easier, it benefits my employer– in real estate savings, employee retention, and the aforementioned increased productivity. And then there are the environmental benefits of eliminating the emissions of a 10-year daily auto commute! Telework may not be right for every job or personality type, but for me it’s been a win-win-win proposition all the way.



One of the most difficult aspects of starting a new job is figuring out the best new commute. My last commute was a 15 minute drive from my house with little traffic. However, I started working with the Perimeter Transportation and Sustainability Coalition this February and the distance is almost twice as far. Even though the gas money alone was enough to convince me to find an alternative, there was one other major problem: traffic. I immediately got to work to find my best alternative--brainstorming between biking, walking and MARTA became a game! At the end of each route I tried, I would mentally calculate a score which factored time and ease of commute.

Over the weekend, I tried biking different roads leading to MARTA rail stations. While the bike ride to Inman Park was easy, there was a train transfer that I wanted to avoid. I also attempted biking through Midtown to get on at the Midtown Station. This was definitely doable, but the cold weather was harsh. I eventually settled on the best solution: a heated MARTA bus. Although I expect the route to alter slightly with the warmer weather, I think I have discovered the best winter commute.

Here's my bus!

If you need help figuring out your new commute, you can find it here. You have your own team that will make choosing a commute alternative easier. Relocating can be stressful, but don’t let your commute be a factor.

Emily Estes is an Outreach Specialist for Perimeter Transportation and Sustainability Coalition, one of several organizations in the Atlanta region that deliver Georgia Commute Options programs and services in partnership with the Georgia Department of Transportation. Emily commutes by MARTA bus and rail and spends her time listening to Tina Fey’s “Bossypants” on audiotape.



Working in The Clean Air Campaign office has its perks: Great places to walk to for lunch, easy access to MARTA, and the annual MLK Parade that we can see from our windows overlooking Auburn Avenue. Last month’s parade inspired my own dream--to help commuters escape from sitting idle on highways and interstates that turn into parking lots during rush hour.
 
Maybe you don’t travel on a big highway to get to work every day, but you know even the surface streets get so congested that travel speeds deteriorate. Why does our fast-paced society accept the inertia that comes with sitting on streets and highways in traffic?

I’ll tell you why. Because people have found this slow time on the roads to do the things they’re better suited to be doing at home, with their family, or in the office. Do you ever see someone in traffic with a book or newspaper on the steering wheel? Yikes. How about texting? Applying make-up? Uh oh. Failing to merge at a decent speed because they are busy opening a package? By spending a good amount of my time on the road visiting employers and property managers for meetings and events, I have seen it all. And I am tired of it.

I am ready to live out my dream to empower others to reclaim the time they lose in traffic, but I need your help. Stop driving and doing A,B, and C at the same time. Start carpooling. Georgia Commute Options offers a free service to help match potential carpoolers interested in sharing the ride. Some may live in your neighborhood or work in your building. And guess what? This means when the carpool passenger needs to apply her make-up, respond to a funny text, or catch up on emails, the driver can drive! We could have half the cars on the road and everyone has better driving habits.



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