Cobb County Department of Transportation prepared the Six Flags Livable Centers Initiative Study for the Six Flags activity center to further efforts made through previous plans and present the community with implementable enhancement projects and policies. The LCI study developed a master plan for multi-modal transportation options, a mix of land uses supported by an economic analysis and a five-year program. The LCI Study recommended bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements, increased access to public transit and delivery of efficient freight movement. In addition, the study provided guidance for developing programs and incentives that promote sustainable development while meeting the needs of current and future residents, employees and visitors.
In association with the Federal Transit Authority, Cobb DOT initiated the environmental assessment associated with the Northwest Atlanta Corridor Alternatives Analysis study of the U.S. Highway 41/Interstate 75 corridor. The assessment will fully integrate environmental work required by the National Environmental Policy Act process and other federal laws and regulations in coordination with the AA study. The assessment will identify and document anticipated environmental effects associated with the potential high capacity transit investment. The 18-month study will include multiple rounds of public involvement.
Cobb County DOT initiated the five-year update of the countywide Comprehensive Transportation Plan along with the cities of Acworth, Austell, Kennesaw, Marietta, Powder Springs and Smyrna. This will update the 2008 CTP. The department began contract negotiations with the highest-rated firm, following a competitive bid process, in December and will kick off the 18-month planning process in early 2013. It will inventory and assess the local transportation network’s adequacy for serving current and future population and economic needs, update community goals and develop an implementation program for providing the desired level of transportation facilities and services.
Cobb County DOT led and completed the Northwest Atlanta Corridor Alternatives Analysis . The AA studied transit needs and improvement alternatives, evaluated the feasibility for high capacity transit along the corridor and developed a locally preferred alternative. It combines new Bus Rapid Transit and enhanced Express Bus service that roughly follows the US 41/I-75 corridor between northern Cobb County and the MARTA Arts Center Station in Midtown. This alignment links MARTA’s regional transit network with key Cobb County destinations, including activity centers at Cumberland and Town Center, Kennesaw State University, Southern Polytechnic State University, large shopping centers, and Dobbins Air Reserve Base. Completion of the AA in December cleared the way for the next phase in the planning process: preparation of an environmental assessment.
The construction of the new Cobb Community Transit paratransit facility at the CCT Multi-Use Transit Center has started. A groundbreaking ceremony was held in May, and construction is on schedule and expected to be complete by spring 2013. This new facility will accommodate CCT paratransit operations, including paratransit reservations, scheduling and dispatch, as well as paratransit certifications. Cobb County Senior Services will occupy space and operate the Senior Services Transportation Program from this facility. The Senior/Disabled Voucher Programs will operate from this facility as well.
The paratransit facility will include a “Learning Center” for travel training programs such as “Get on the Bus Gus.” This program is designed to provide training for seniors and individuals with disabilities to help them become confident bus riders and encourage them to transition from using paratransit service to the less costly fixed route service.
In 2012 the Cobb County Airport-McCollum Field completed the design for the extension of parallel taxiways A and B to the western end of the runway and also completed the design for a new north apron taxi-lane connector. The taxiway extensions will improve runway safety and increase aircraft capacity, while the new north apron taxi-lane connector will allow for aircraft to access the parallel taxiway and runway directly, while bypassing the congested terminal ramp. A Federal Aviation Administration and State of Georgia grant was awarded in the amount of nearly $250,000 for reimbursement of engineering costs for the projects. Construction is expected to begin in fall 2013 after the awarding of a federal and state grant to fund 95 percent of the proposed $2 million project.
Cobb County DOT achieved 100 percent federal funding in the amount of $3.9 million and initiated a project to expand our Adaptive Traffic Control System, the second largest system of its kind in the nation. The project added 75 traffic signals in the Town Center area. Cobb County’s ATCS now includes 148 traffic signals and utilizes computer systems that provide real-time traffic signal timing adjustments to reduce traffic delays and improve mobility in high traffic activity centers, the greater Cumberland/Galleria and Town Center areas, and where unpredictable traffic conditions routinely occur due to interstate traffic incidents.
Cobb DOT achieved 100 percent state funding and completed initial installation of a travel time monitoring system at 19 locations in the greater Town Center area including County arterial roads Cobb Parkway, Barrett Parkway and Chastain Road. It provides data for real-time system performance review and enhances traveler information systems including a real-time congestion map. This will be used for incident management as well as to measure effectiveness of the signal timing systems to reduce traffic delays and improve mobility.
Cobb DOT activated the county’s first pedestrian hybrid beacon in the Six Flags Drive corridor, an area with high pedestrian activity. The pilot project will be studied to determine if this type of traffic control device is appropriate for other areas of Cobb.
The Cobb DOT Utilities section issued 1482 permits to public and private entities for utility work within the right-of-way with an average turn-around of three days. These permits generated fees totaling approximately $212,248. Through the permit review and inspection process, Cobb employees provide a valuable service in monitoring work that affects the county.