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DOT: No problems with ramp meters at Hwy. 74/I-85

Red-light ramp meters at the on-ramp for Interstate 85 northbound at Ga. Highway 74 became operational July 1.

The meters are programmed to kick in only when interstate traffic is heavy, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation. The agency is touting the meters as a tool to improve travel times and reduce congestion.

The ramp meters, which are red/green traffic lights, allow one vehicle to “go” from the on-ramp at a time when the system is active. DOT touts that ramp meters installed elsewhere in Georgia have reduced trip times as much as 39 percent by preventing slower merging traffic from mucking up the average speed of motorists already on the interstate.

In addition to the Hwy. 74 location, the meters were also activated for on-ramps further north at Ga. Highway 138, Flat Shoals Road and Riverdale Road, making it possible that Fayette commuters also will benefit from the ramp meter program as on-ramp traffic is restricted to the north.

The DOT recently received a call about the ramp meters being active when they weren’t supposed to be at the Hwy. 138 on-ramp, but DOT engineers sorted out the issue, according to DOT spokesperson Paul Marshall.

“Beyond that we haven’t heard any complaints or received any calls,” Marshall said.

The ramp meters can be monitored via video cameras to determine if they are functioning properly, Marshall said. If traffic becomes significantly backed up on the on-ramp, traffic engineers can turn the signal to a solid green to help eliminate the logjam, he said.



Ha!! This is a joke. The reason that there is no problem is because most people dont know (or have the time to hold for a government agency) to complain about these traffic nightmares. The "ramp meters" do nothing but slow down and congest the very traffic and congestion that they are designed to resolve. Per the article above, traffic engineers can turn the signal to a solid green if traffic backs up. I have sat many days on the ramps at Freedom Parkway and Grady so backed up because of the "ramp meters" and have yet to see one turn to solid green. Not sure where the brain power came from for these projects but as a commuter, they fail miserably. I cringed when I saw the signal on the ramp to 85 knowing what I have to look (not) forward to. The commute to Atlanta stinks already, this will only make it worse.

In urban areas these things are fine... The problem at I85/74 has been getting to the ramp, not into the traffic flow.

Anyone driving up that ramp knows you have one lane of traffic with a long acceleration lane designed to get you up to highway speed (about 75 most mornings) and merging in with the Northbound traffic..

Sequencing the ramp traffic is totally the wrong way to approach this ramp as 85 goes from 3 lanes wide on one side of the bridge to 4-5 on the other side... Unless there is an accident North of 74, there is NEVER a problem getting on 85 ,,,, It's getting off 74.

Before the great economic collapse of 2008 -- 2lanes of traffic used to back up some mornings as far back as Randall Coffee's 9 hole golf course.

Now it still is slow from Milam Road to 85...

These ramp lights are boondoggles of the highest order -- wasted money for fixing nothing.

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