Interstate traffic down nearly forty percent

Traffic camera photo of I-75 at I-675 on April 20, 2020 (Georgia DOT camera)
Traffic camera photo on April 20, 2020 (Georgia DOT photo)

Georgia has been under a statewide stay-at-home order since April 3. New data shared by the Atlanta Regional Commission reflects the reduction in vehicle travel since then.

For the week of April 6, 2020, traffic counts on Interstate 75 northbound near I-675 averaged 52,223 vehicles per day. One year prior, during the same week in April 2019, volumes averaged 84,184 vehicles per day. The change represents a 37.97% reduction in interstate traffic.

Other corridors throughout the Atlanta region have experienced similar reductions, with traffic on Georgia 400 down over 52%. The smallest difference, located along I-85 in Gwinnett County, has decreased 31%.

Workplace and retail / recreational travel are also down, according to information compiled by Google. In Henry County, workplace travel is down 48% and retail / recreational travel is down 51%.

Since March 20, Georgia vehicle travel is down 62%. That number increases to 70% within the metropolitan Atlanta region.

The reduction in travel has caused a major decrease in gas prices and will also result in fewer collections from gasoline taxes. Fuel taxes are the primary source of revenue for state DOT projects including roadway maintenance and new construction.

No impacts to project schedules have been announced to date, but a clearer picture will become available over the next month when updated tax receipts are published. Tax receipts from the state department of revenue trail one month behind consumer purchases.

Henry County staff are also monitoring for impacts to local sales tax collections following the start of SPLOST V on April 1.