Traffic & Driving, Atlanta
Well, if you choose to rent a car and have to be anywhere in Atlanta between 7-10 am...it's best to leave at least an hour before time. Maybe even an hour and half because one car accident on the freeway will hold you up for appointments. The same thing goes for the afternoon between the hours of 4-7pm. If all possible don't make appointments to travel around these time.
When VT fixes the upload problem for pics, then I will add some
The highways about 20 years ago seemed like a dream for visitors and locals. Belt loop 285 was one half used and you could drive around the 70+ mile perimeter swiftly, unless ice or an accident slowed it up. Running through the middle of downtown is US 20 going generally east/west, and US 75/85 going south to north and they split off in the north. Do not take these if at all possible after 3PM daily through town. That was when Atlanta was only around a couple million people; now closer to 5 million.
Traffic if murderous (or at least maddening) now, or at least a dead stop for nearly 20 miles in all directions. Use the belt loop where you can, but even that has many minutes of stopping and slamming on brakes. Hov-high occupancy-lanes are now available and that helps if you have 2 or more in the car.
Well...I rented a car and it was great. I love how laid back everyone is. I am from New York and there is so much hustle and bustle. I'm not a great driver but I fit in seemlessly. I'm afaid to drive in New York but Altanta is really a driving town. Lots of parking and very easy to read street signs.
Peachtree Street is popular in Atlanta. That's because there is more than one street so named. There are several. Well, many actually. Its easy to get confused.
Peachtree Street runs north and south through the city. West Peachtree Street runs parallel to Peachtree Street Main, but is west of PSM and finally merges with it somewhere north of the city. There is also a Peachtree parkway, in addition to Peachtree Avenue, Peachtree Road and various other Peachtrees. Its important to know which Peachtree you are referring to. If this is too confusing or too stressful, I'd suggest ditching the car altogether and using MARTA.
A car is a must if you are anywhere outside of Atlanta, as most things are very far apart. Traffic sucks anywhere within a 30 mile radius of Atlanta between 7am-10am and 4pm-7pm. During those times Marta is usefull.
Atlanta traffic is notoriously bad. Try to avoid it at all costs during rush hour, unless you know exactly where you are going. The signage on the freeways is not the best. If possible, take MARTA, Atlanta's rapid transit. Even though MARTA is not very extensive, it is a quick and cheap ride from the airport to downtown and the Buckhead district.