The Cobb County Department of Transportation (CCDOT) has activated six dynamic message signs throughout Marietta and Smyrna. The signs are located on routes that converge on the Interstate 75/U.S. 41 corridor within the greater Cumberland area and play a role in guiding patrons to SunTrust Park and The Battery Atlanta.
The full-color LED signs installed on Cobb Parkway, South Marietta Parkway, Roswell Road and Spring Road provide travel time information for common destinations and indicate the congestion level related to specific routes in real time. Travel times on I-75 and Cobb Parkway appear in digits that are green, yellow or red, depending on the average speed of the roadway. Green digits indicate near free-flow speeds, yellow digits indicate moderate speeds and red digits indicate slow conditions. Public service announcements as well as information related to incidents, construction and special events also will appear on the signs. These messages allow motorists to choose less congested routes.
“The new dynamic signs have exceptional image clarity and are a significant benefit to motorists, offering real-time information to assist in choosing travel paths,” said Jim Wilgus, CCDOT director. “This is state-of-the art technology that offers Cobb County an additional way to reduce congestion and improve the travel experience.”
The travel time messages depend on real-time data collected by a recently expanded travel time system, which now covers many major arterials within Cobb County and freeways in the Atlanta metro area. The data comes from detectors that collect anonymous electronic addresses from motorists’ Bluetooth and WiFi-enabled mobile devices.
“We look forward to receiving feedback as motorists get used to the new signs and messages. The messaging system software was designed to be flexible, so we expect to make changes to accommodate our drivers,” Wilgus said. “As traffic volumes increase with more economic activity, these tools will become critical assets to our strategy to reduce congestion and improve safety.”
Sign messages will be used to support events at SunTrust Park and are coordinated with the traffic and parking planning efforts for Braves games. Existing dynamic message signs on area freeways now also provide parking information to allow traffic to take the most direct route to parking areas.
County staff and contractors have worked to plan, design and construct the signs since early 2016, when the county’s Board of Commissioners voted in favor of the project, which is partially funded by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). The successful deployment of the signs represents a close collaboration between Cobb County, the City of Marietta, the City of Smyrna and GDOT.
“Everyone was on board with this improvement, and we are pleased that it was implemented quickly and in such a way that there will be long-lasting benefits to multiple agencies,” Wilgus said.