Trump in Atlanta Unveils Transportation Initiative

July 15, 2020

A Presidential visit to Atlanta that doesn’t impact traffic? It did indeed happen.

President Trump’s trip to Atlanta Wednesday was only about 1.5 hours. Air Force One landed at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport around 3:00pm. Trump’s destination was inside the airport complex, a short distance away at the UPS Hapeville hub. The Presidential plane was wheels up and exiting Atlanta air space by 4:35pm.

It was at the UPS facility that Trump laid out a national plan that he said would benefit metro Atlanta drivers by saving them “countless, hundreds of hours a year.” An expansion of Interstate 75 south of the city, according to Trump, would provide 77 new miles of lanes for commercial vehicles. It is the Interstate 75 Commercial Vehicle Lane expansion project.

Trump said his transportation plan “would make U.S. infrastructure a world leader.” Administration officials say the policy change would expedite environmental reviews for highway projects, bridges, and roads.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp called Trump’s announcement “a win for the future of our state and economy.” 

The President apparently chose not to wear a mask in Atlanta, though it had been mandated by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms who reportedly said that “President Trump did violate law in the city of Atlanta.” The White House reportedly said that Trump was “following CDC guidance.” Trump was seen over the weekend at a Maryland military hospital wearing a mask for the first time in public.

Ahead of Trump’s visit Democrats including the Founder of Fair Fight Stacey Abrams, slammed what they called “Trump’s empty promises and failed response to the coronavirus crisis, which has now resulted in over 100,000 COVID-19 cases in Georgia, and more than 3,000 Georgia coronavirus deaths.” Abrams added ““Trump's incompetence and the failures of his coronavirus response are just the latest in a three-year chain of actions that have disproportionately hurt African Americans, as well as Latinos and Asian Americans in the United States, and particularly here in Georgia.”

Arriving with the President aboard Air Force One were U.S. Senators from Georgia David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.  Waiting for Trump on the tarmac at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport were Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp, along with Georgia Congressman Doug Collins and David Shafer who is Chair of the Georgia Republican Party.

Previous visits to Atlanta by President Trump have included stops at the CDC near Emory University as-well-as GOP fundraisers in downtown or Buckhead. traffic reporter Will Gara says those locations “cause limited access on the Perimeter or the Downtown Connector.” Since some of Trump’s previous stops in Atlanta have occurred on Friday, Gara adds “it created a perfect storm of traffic backups and extended travel times for Atlanta commuters.”

Thankfully, Wednesday was totally different.