Scott Boulevard Traffic Has Been Pretty Darn Terrible Since I-85 Collapse

As a regular ambler and driver along Scott Boulevard, let me be one of many people to tell you that it’s not currently an area you want to venture near in your motorized vehicle right now.

Especially during rush hour.

The I-85 bridge collapse has resulted in some pretty bad traffic along Scott during peak commuting times.  From my own observations, I’ve guessed that enough morning Atlanta commuters are now using Ponce and Scott to get from downtown Atlanta to Clairemont so they can take it northward to rejoin I-85 North.  So the left turn lane to Clairemont from Scott is now an even bigger mess than it already was in the mornings.

Principal Rochelle Lofstrand of Westchester Elementary – which unenviously sits along the clogged artery – noted the increase in traffic in a recent note to parents, warning car riders that they may want to find an alternative means of getting their kids to school for the time being.

The afternoon traffic – in my own limited experience – has also been nightmarish within the Decatur city limits, but its not as much about a specific chokepoint as it is about just being an overall, general mess.  I haven’t paid close attention enough to Scott Boulevard westbound in the afternoon, but eastbound is just a parking lot since Spring Break concluded, with long lines at the both Scott intersections at Clairemont and up at North Decatur Road.

As such, there’s not surprisingly been an increase in cut-thru traffic through Decatur neighborhoods in the area, which must be lots of fun for everyone.

Hang in there folks.  Apparently I-85 will reopen by June 15th.  So only…two more months-ish?

In the meantime, here’s a colorful GDOT graphic of Atlanta’s highways to pass the time.

18 thoughts on “Scott Boulevard Traffic Has Been Pretty Darn Terrible Since I-85 Collapse”


  1. Regarding the helpful graphic, could someone explain to me what “for local traffic only” means? How is traffic restricted to “locals”?

  2. Heading towards Route 78 in afternoon rush hour has become a nightmare. Bumper to bumper standstill between Clairemont and N. Decatur.

  3. East College starting at Columbia to Dekalb Ave and all the way down Dekalb Ave to at least the Blvd (as far as I went) has been bumper to bumper taking double the normal time to get through that way…..

    1. MARTA provides rail service parallel to DeKalb/College Ave with 10 minute frequencies and no congestion. P&R at Avondale or Kensington.

  4. What’s traffic like going north on Clairemont in the morning? We have to head that way to Dr. Crews one morning soon.

    1. As Robert stated further below, not bad once you get past the Scott/Clairemont intersection. But that intersection is awful. Not sure it can be avoided, just be mentally prepared to sit there for 15 solid minutes.

    2. Clairemont north between Scott & N Decatur is bad too. The east-west traffic light on N Decatur seems to go for a while, which means the short segment on Clairemont to Scott fills up quickly.

  5. The morning and early afternoon drive from near Agnes Scott to VA Medical Center, a whopping 6 miles, has been dreadful. I hear the traffic going through Medlock Park S/D is even worse. We are now backing up into our parking decks to get out on Clairmont at 4 pm.

  6. It’s all about perspective! Turning left onto Scott, I love it. Turning across cars at a standstill is much easier than turning between cars going 60 mph!

    1. I gotta disagree. It’s not easy turning left onto Scott when there’s a solid line of cars, bumper to bumper, and NO ONE will let you in. Basically I’ve been forcing my way into traffic everyday which has been tons of fun.

  7. Clairmont inside COD seems worse than normal but once I get past Scott it’s pretty typical. I’m at Scott around 730am so maybe it gets worse later in the morning.

  8. I had to travel through there this morning at 6:45 to get to 85N. I wanted to avoid the long line to turn left from Scott onto Clairmont, so I caught Clairmont at Ponce in downtown Decatur. From Commerce to Scott it was bumper to bumper and crawling, but I think it was still better than waiting in the long line (and short arrow) to turn left at Scott/Clairmont. After Scott, Clairmont was pretty normal, and after North Decatur, it was wide open.

  9. A heads up to everyone else, the typically cut-through that commuters take through Medlock Park that hangs a left from Blackmon Dr. onto Scott Blvd heading towards 285 has been permanently blocked. Not sure if all the commuters have gotten the memo from this, but it is going to add to the amount of traffic on N. Decatur as they will no longer be able to use that alternative.

    I personally don’t as it is a large traffic build-up in my neighborhood, but think it may add to the frustration for an already tense area.

  10. City of Atlanta has been submitting false Waze reports of objects blocking the road in neighborhoods they’ve been trying to keep people from using. It’s really frustrating to see commuters urged to “explore alternate routes” and told to :use surface streets” then localities react by shutting down alternate routes and surface streets and forcing everyone on to the same arterial roads. Yeah, the increased traffic in some neighborhoods sucks, but it’s temporary. It’s a very mixed message when they saying “be flexible, be patient, be calm, we are all in this together” then shutting down roads where residents have complained sufficiently.

    http://www.reporternewspapers.net/2017/04/13/city-posts-later-removes-alerts-waze-denote-no-thru-traffic/

  11. I hit up the YMCA sometimes around 8:15am before work. It was bad enough Tuesday morning that when I went back on Thursday I made sure to go around 5:30am instead (with kids getting ready for school I have to choose super early or later).

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