Cobb County Government
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Cobb Commute wins GTA Technology Award

(Marietta, GA - August 8, 2016) Georgia Technology Authority staff has awarded Cobb Commute top honors in Georgia’s 2016 Technology Innovation Showcase.

The web-based application is a collaborative effort between Cobb DOT and the Information Services Department and offers real time traffic conditions for local commuters.

“Cobb Commute is a prime example of how digital media can be used to enable citizens to access information and services that make their lives easier," said Sharon Stanley, director, Cobb County Information Services.

"Expanded web and mobile access to key county services will enrich residents’ interaction with Cobb Government and support transparency,” she said.

A total of 18 projects from 12 state and local government agencies were nominated for the 2016 showcase. Each nominated project was evaluated according to how well it met the following criteria:

• Level of innovation in addressing a specific business problem
• Significance to improving business processes and operating efficiency
• Significance to financial savings or cost avoidance
• Significance to enhancing service delivery to external or internal customers

Launched in 2015, Cobb Commute is accessible online at cobbcommute.org. For more information on the Technology InnoInnovation Showcase and the award recipients, visit the GTA website.

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Major left-turn traffic change at section of Windy Hill Road corridor

(Marietta, GA - Aug. 10, 2016) After Aug. 22, motorists traveling along Windy Hill Road will no longer have access to the center turn lane, from U.S. 41/Cobb Parkway to Circle 75 Parkway, while the lane is permanently closed and converted into a raised median. Motorists will be able to make left-hand turns only at signalized intersections.

The lane-to-median conversion along the heavily-traveled, half-mile stretch of road is one of the $48 million traffic and safety improvement projects along the 1.43-mile stretch of Windy Hill Road, from U.S. 41/Cobb Parkway to Powers Ferry Road.  

“The center lane in that particular section of Windy Hill Road has been dangerous for years. It has been called the ‘suicide lane’ because drivers can enter the center lane from either direction, causing an accident,” said Jim Wilgus, director of the Cobb County Department of Transportation. “The raised medians eliminate the suicide lane and will create a safer environment for motorists.”

The biggest change for drivers, besides the closure of the center lane, is making controlled, but safe, left-hand turns only at signalized intersections. Left-hand turns, along this section of Windy Hill Road, will be accessible at Windy Hill Village Shopping Center, North Park Place and South Park Place.  

High Crash Data
Planning for the project began in 2011 after a 2010 Summary of Crash and Injury Data & Comparison to Statewide Rates Report showed crash rates on Windy Hill Road, from U.S. 41/Cobb Parkway to I-75, to be three times greater than statewide crash rates. Injury rates were double the statewide rates. The data showed crash and injury rates would remain well above the statewide rates unless corrective safety measures were taken, stating traffic in the high-density office, residential and commercial development area have increased steadily since the 1980s population boom, resulting in heavy congestion and a high volume of crashes caused by motorists attempting to cut across middle lanes to reach the I-75 on-ramp or to make left-hand turns into businesses.

Watch for Crews
The center lane will be closed to all traffic with construction cones and large vehicles preventing motorists from entering. Construction will take approximately nine months to complete and will require road crews to work in close proximity to moving traffic.
“We really appreciate the public’s patience along Windy Hill, and we have one more favor to ask,” said Wilgus. “Please drive safely and pay attention in heavy construction zones. Taking two to three more minutes of your time to go to the signalized light goes a long way in making sure all our crews and other motorists go home to their families at night. It’s dangerous out there, but this project will make the corridor much safer.”

The $48 million traffic and safety improvements are comprised of five multi-faceted projects that include widening roads, adding medians, widening intersections, constructing the Diverging Diamond Interchange and replacing sidewalks. Once complete, the projects will enhance motorist and pedestrian safety, increase traffic flow and decrease congestion. The majority of construction is expected to be completed in spring 2017.

For updates and more information about the upcoming Windy Hill Road Projects, visit www.cobbdot.org.

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For media inquiries:
Torie Anderson
Communications Coordinator
Cobb County Department of Transportation
Torie.Anderson@cobbcounty.org
770-528-1629

CobbLinc’s new buses, improved routes make getting to Cumberland, downtown easier and faster

(MARIETTA, Ga.- Aug. 31, 2016) Cobb County transit riders will enjoy better service to the Cumberland region and downtown Atlanta on CobbLinc beginning Tuesday, Sept. 6.  

The county’s bus service, CobbLinc, is adding a new route 25 from the Cumberland area to MARTA’s Hamilton E. Holmes rail station and updating several other routes.
 
CobbLinc is the new name for buses and other transit services provided by Cobb Community Transit. Today’s announcement includes expanded coverage, improved safety and a quicker ride for commuters using CobbLinc. All are part of a Cobb transit improvement plan reflected in the new CobbLinc branding.
 
“We want CobbLinc to be the preferred transportation option for the citizens of Cobb County, wherever they need to go,” said CobbLinc Director Vida Covington. “We already added 35 new, WiFi-equipped buses this year. With our new and updated routes, CobbLinc is providing better access for more people than ever before.”
 
NEW ROUTES
 
CobbLinc’s new Route 25 originates at the Cumberland Transfer Center, behind Cumberland Mall, and ends at MARTA’s Hamilton E. Holmes rail station in Atlanta. Buses on Route 25 will pick up at Concord Road at South Cobb Drive and continue along Hurt, Austell and Old Alabama Roads as well as Mableton Parkway, Hillcrest Drive, Six Flags Parkway and Ralph David Abernathy Freeway, making six stops along the path. Crossover between routes on Austell Road will allow for passengers to make connections on Route 30.
 
Route 10, which runs from the Marietta Transfer Center through the Cumberland area and to the Arts Center Station on 17th Street, now will take a right on Cumberland Boulevard—to bypass the more congested Spring Street—then take a left on Akers Mill Road. With this change, the route will lead directly into the I-75 HOV lane, offering improved reliability and safety by avoiding the need to change lanes to reach the exit during peak traffic times.
 
Buses running on Route 10 will now make stops at the Residence Inn on Cumberland Boulevard and at the intersection of Cumberland Boulevard and Cotton Street at Cumberland Marketplace. Route 10 buses will no longer stop at the following locations, identified by landmark and intersection:

  • IBM (Northside Parkway at Rivergreen Drive)
  • Kroger (Cobb Parkway at Paces Mill Road)
  • AMC Theaters (Cobb Parkway at Parkway Pointe)
  • Akers Mill Square (Cobb Parkway at Riverwood Parkway)
  • Circle 75 (Cobb Parkway at Spring Road)
  • Chin Chin Restaurant (Spring Road at Cumberland Boulevard)
 
Route 20, also originating from the Marietta Transfer Center, will now provide more direct transit into the Cumberland area by offering corridor-style service along South Cobb Drive. Buses on the route will no longer travel Concord Road. Service to the Home Depot Support Center will continue with stops every hour during morning and evening peak travel times as part of Route 20. 
 
All three routes will serve the Cumberland Transfer Center.
 
NEW SERVICE
Service in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also will expand with the addition of Route 25. Passengers eligible for ADA accommodations will be served with paratransit service within three quarters of a mile of the new route.
 
“We’re proud to provide better mobility services in Mableton, Austell and other growing markets,” Covington said.
 
The changes also position the CobbLinc system to be a key component of the transportation plan for the opening of SunTrust Park at the intersection of Interstates 285 and 75 in the spring of 2017.
 
CobbLinc operates 100 buses on 18 routes with more than 750 stops and almost 300 bus shelters. CobbLinc makes more than four million trips per year.
 
For details about routes, schedules and more, visit www.cobblinc.com.
 

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 See attached images

Route 10

Route 20

Route 25


Contact:
 
Torie Anderson, Communications Coordinator
Cobb County Department of Transportation
770.528.1629
torie.anderson@cobbcounty.org
 
Vida Covington, Director - CobbLinc
Cobb County Department of Transportation
770.427.4444
vida.covington@cobbcounty.org

Cobb Commissioners approve the purchase of additional body cameras

(Marietta, GA Aug. 9, 2016) The Cobb County Board of Commissioners unanimously authorized the purchase of 100 additional body-worn cameras and server space for the Cobb County Police Department at today's Board of Commissioners meeting.

In efforts to build and enhance community trust and support, the Cobb County Police Department will purchase body cameras for uniform officers. The department currently has 133 body cameras in use. With the purchase of the additional body cameras, the police department will be 50 percent toward its goal of outfitting all 500 uniform officers with a body camera.

According to Cobb County Public Safety Director Sam Heaton, outfitting all uniform officers is the first phase and equipping all detectives with cameras will be final goal.

“Providing every officer with a body-worn camera is mutually beneficial for Cobb County law enforcement and the community. Our officers want them and the technology is a great tool in building public trust in our policing efforts,” Heaton said.

The total amount for the purchase of the additional body cameras with five charging docks for the police precincts is $106,607.10. The funding is available in the police department accountable equipment fiscal year 2016 operating budget. The additional server space and data storage required to store the video is $147,557.38, and will be funded by the False Alarm Reduction Unit and from the Police Department Camera Special Project Fund.

With the additional 100 body cameras, the police department expects an increase in related open record requests, video classification, cataloging, equipment issuance, retention schedule monitoring and additional storage for system maintenance will be required.
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For more information, contact:

Sergeant Dana Pierce
Public Information Office
770-499-3910

Sam Heaton, Director of Public Safety
770-528-8301

Cobb is 'Triple AAA' rated for 20th consecutive year

(Marietta, Ga.) Moody’s bond rating agency has reaffirmed Cobb County’s Triple A (AAA) bond rating for the 20th consecutive year. Triple AAA is the highest credit rating available.

Cobb County Chairman Tim Lee, County Manager David Hankerson and members of the finance department traveled to New York in June to meet with the agency where they presented a review of Cobb’s financial operations and creditworthiness - including its financial management plans, adopted budgets and comprehensive annual financial report.

Moody’s Investor Services commends Cobb’s healthy financial position, noting the County’s smart financial management and proactive fiscal policies are an advantage in the ratings process.
 
The rating is based on the following factors:

    Diversity of the County’s economic base including a wide range of public and private sector employers
    Conservative fiscal management
    An unreserved general fund balance maintained at a minimum 9 percent
    Low debt burden

Traditionally, Triple AAA ratings are achieved through a number of factors including a demonstrated history of sound reserves; a countywide government commitment to low taxes; a stable operations forecast; low general obligation bonds and debt service; an overall strong financial profile; a robust job market and strong local economy and manageable pension projections risk level.

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