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Get Informed With 'Connect Cobb' Study

It's time for serious adult conversations about transportation and development in Cobb's future.

Cobb County, through a grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), is conducting an Alternatives Analysis, known as the Connect Cobb study, to investigate transit options and their impact on mobility, livability and connectivity in the Northwest Corridor (from Arts Center Station to Acworth, roughly following I-75 and Highway 41).

The Cobb Department of Transportation held three meetings in December to solicit ideas and encourage discussion about the future of Cobb.

Representatives of Cobb elected officials, MARTA, the city of Atlanta, Cumberland and Town Center Malls, Kennesaw State University, Dobbins Naval Air Station, Southern Poly and average citizens attended these meetings.

The recent history of Cobb has been about transportation and development. At times, one would lead the way and the other would try to catch up. Connect Cobb is part of an ongoing effort by Cobb to stay aware and ahead of the development coming to Cobb or that has already overwhelmed it, thanks to a lack of leadership at the state capitol for a decade. Cobb’s own political leaders have shown either a disdain or phobia for leadership in transportation too.

All the ideas stemming from these meetings have been compiled and will soon be on the Cobb DOT web site. A future meeting will be held in February.

With terrible congestion today and 100,000 more people moving to Cobb in the next decade or two, traffic relief was a priority for all.

One of the many positive ideas was this: “What can be done to make Lockheed and Dobbins more attractive when defense cuts occur, so that their jobs don’t leave town?”

Does Warner Robins have mass transit? Will it make a difference? Also, what is the best way to improve congestion, do nothing, light rail, heavy rail, bus rapid transit, or dedicated busway.

Some of the Tea Party people were of little utility as they frequently said, ”No, no, and no,” and made little contribution to the discussion. Even the Maglev, the proposed floating train connecting Kennesaw to Sandy Springs, came up. It was hailed by one individual as the epitome of private enterprise merging with transportation.

Later, a friend suggested that I go to the Canton Road Neighbors web site and examine the history of South Cobb’s Maglev entrepreneur who made an impressive sales speech to and some East Cobb free market transportation capitalists too.

No doubt this sales presentation was polished and impressive. It has been used in Florida and Virginia before, where public funds were spent but no trains floated.

At Commissioner Bob Ott’s next town hall meeting, I hope someone asks if the Maglev’s owner was Googled concerning his prior public-private endeavors. I saw Commissioner Ott at Publix recently and was planning on asking him but I reached for a loaf of bread, turned around, and he was gone.

I bet someone at Cobb DOT could have provided some background for Commissioner Ott about the South Cobb Maglev.   

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