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Atlanta Georgia: Rush Hour Interstate Highway Traffic Congestion

Today’s feature photo contains a view looking north to the center of Atlanta, Georgia that includes rush hour traffic on I-75, which is known as the Downtown Connector. The majority of the vehicles in this circa 1967 image are made by domestic auto automakers, and only about half a dozen imported cars are visible on the highway.

View a second circa 1967 picture shot in the same area and learn more about Atlanta’s traffic problems in an earlier post. Excuse the eerie picture quality, the original was taken in the shadowed area of the foreground while the background was sunlit; it has been photoshopped to show the vehicles in better detail.

Share with us what you find of interest in this image, or any other information about traffic on the Downtown Connector. The press photograph is via the Georgia State University Library.



28 responses to “Atlanta Georgia: Rush Hour Interstate Highway Traffic Congestion

  1. Going away from us, to the right of the `63 Olds Super 88 wagon is that a little Fiat wagon of some sort? Almost looks SImca-esque by the taillights. Can’t see enough of it to tell exactly.

  2. Coming toward the camera, behind the 1960 Chevy, is a Jaguar XK-150, wow.
    Two VW bugs, one coming, one going. Between them, right of the ’57 Pontiac, is a VW 1600 station wagon.

    • The VW bug came at you is a ’67 the first year as a 12 volt. The headlights are the biggest give away along with the old style bumper (changed in ’68). The other bug (going away) is hard to tell but appears to be older by the taillights. The “Stationwagon” also going away was called a Type 2 by the dealerships.

    • Alan,

      I’m with you. When I was a kid (and dinosaurs roamed the earth) my parents made an annual trip to Florida to visit grandpa. The most critical part of the trip, which was much discussed, was how to time it to “hit” Atlanta at the optimum time to avoid the worst traffic.

  3. The bridge in the background is North Avenue. Notice the sign for the Varsity drive-in, which claims to be the largest drive-in fast food restaurant in the world. Comedian Nipsey Russell was a car-hop there. The trees on the right are in front of the Area 1 dormitories at Georgia Tech.

    This area looks very similar today, although the interstate now has many more lanes.

  4. I’d take that big ol slabsided Electra any day of the week. When I was kid, my dad would occasionally have use of a company car. You guessed it. Just like that one. I used to climb around in it and play car and just marvel at the size and luxury of it all. A wonderful machine.

    • I actually owned one exactly like that – black with a vinyl top – for a brief time in the mid-seventies. Bought on a whim since I had always owned small foreign vehicles, the thought of tooling around in a luxo-barge might be fun for a change. I found it for a hundred bucks in the local paper. (Remember when the local paper was where you looked for cars?) I was surprised that it was as nimble as it was – in its own ponderous way – if you simply used that power steering (another novelty to me) a bit.

      I remember stopping by a friend’s house and upon leaving finding that the beast would not even turn over. After a bit of head scratching I went back in and asked my friend for his thoughts. We both looked for a while and then Mikus suggested “Why don’t you try putting in in Park and then try?” Umm, yeah, an automatic transmission also being unfamiliar to me.

      Not too much later, after the novelty wore off, we entered it in the county fair Demo Derby where the deuce and a quarter did not fare well, succumbing early when the back end got crushed in, jamming the rear tires. As it turns out, the best tactic was to back into people rather smashing them head on and station wagons were the Weapon of Choice as their reinforced rear structures made better battering rams.

  5. if you live north of Atlanta, you have to drive through on 75/85 to get to Hartsfield Airport. You never do know if traffic will be moving or stopped. This give new meaning to “leaving early for your flight.”
    Of course there are many more lanes now, plus HOV lanes and they are in the process of adding High Density Lanes plus ramps for the new Braves Stadium in Cobb County. Traffic was not nearly as bad when we moved here in the 80’s although I’ll take it over Chicago traffic any time. Constant construction causes most of the problems…however we have had many, many deadly accidents on our interstates lately. It doesn’t help that Atlanta is a transportation hub or that our excellent roads encourage speeding.
    Was watching Barret-Jackson auction last night, many of the cars in the photo were for sale last night.

    • Unfortunately.

      An average of 350,000 cars per day pass through this area of downtown. It’s an awful stretch of road, and the preponderance of SUV’s only makes it worse.

      Lots of Fords in that part of the country, as evidenced in the photo. Love the T-Bird.

  6. I’ve in and around Atlanta for most of my 58 years. Notice how few cars are more than five years old. The varsity is still there although the northbound entrance ramp from North Ave. was removed in the mid-Seventies when additional lanes were added.

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