How Segregation Caused Atlanta's Traffic Jams

Kevin M. Kruse, writing in the New York Times:

Atlanta has some of the worst traffic in the United States. Drivers there average two hours each week mired in gridlock, hung up at countless spots, from the constantly clogged Georgia 400 to a complicated cluster of overpasses at Tom Moreland Interchange, better known as “Spaghetti Junction.” The Downtown Connector — a 12-to-14-lane megahighway that in theory connects the city’s north to its south — regularly has three-mile-long traffic jams that last four hours or more. Commuters might assume they’re stuck there because some city planner made a mistake, but the heavy congestion actually stems from a great success. In Atlanta, as in dozens of cities across America, daily congestion is a direct consequence of a century-long effort to segregate the races.

Atlanta’s a lovely city, but would be so much better if you didn’t have to spend so much time in your car to get anywhere. It’s unsurprising to learn that much of that problem is the result of racism.