Live outside Atlanta? Officials considering making you pay to drive into town

ATLANTA — City officials are looking into the idea of having drivers who live outside Atlanta pay up when they drive into Buckhead and Midtown.

Councilman J.P. Matzigheit says traffic has gotten so bad in Buckhead from drivers outside the city, that he has commissioned a study to look at possibly creating what is essentially a congestion tax.

“Over 90 percent, in fact, of the people that work in Buckhead, don’t live in Buckhead, so they have to commute in every single day,” Matzigheit said.

Matzigheit said it’s a quality of life issue for people who live there. His plan would be for people who drive into the city would pay a toll when they crossed a certain street.


“All options need to be on the table to address traffic. It’s a real quality of life issue that I’m committed to solving and will use all means to do that,” Matzigheit said.

He says city planners will study congestion fees, officially called cordon pricing, all year. Other cities like London and now New York have committed to the idea.

“I don’t know what the solution would look like, but we have to keep all options on the table to make sure we’re thinking of things to address traffic,” he said.

Richard Radke lives in Roswell, but they drove to midtown to go the High Museum. If this were to go through, they would be hit with a toll.

"I don't know if that would change our habits. I think we would just bite the bullet and do what we have to do,” Radke said.

Matzigheit says the city's planning department is only looking at congestion pricing for Buckhead and Midtown, and should wrap up their study in December.