Cobb Chatter - The word on the street on Cobb's busy business front
April 07, 2014 12:00 AM | 1176 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Intersections get upgrades

The intersection at the corner of South Marietta Parkway and Fairground Street continues to see upgrades. A QT opened on the southeast corner a couple of years ago. Next to it, the Dunkin’ Donuts and Burger King underwent facelifts. Now, change is on hand for across the street. A Zaxby’s is slated to open. The Athens-based chain has experienced significant growth the past several years with its chicken as the centerpiece of its menu.

It will be part of a roughly mile-long section of South Marietta Parkway that now is home to more than seven restaurants.

A ‘game-changer’ for Cobb

No surprise here. According to Georgia DOT commissioner Keith Golden, the metro area’s slow-moving traffic is bringing a bad rap to the area. But perhaps it is undeserved.

The comish, who spoke to an audience of businesspeople at The Vinings Bank last month, said he meets frequently with CEOs of some of the area’s biggest and best-known corporations and what they tell him is at odds with the area’s reputation.

“What I hear from them is, ‘You have to overcome the perception that traffic is bad in Atlanta, because it’s not.’ These guys have lived all over the U.S. and the world and they say our traffic is not bad. But we have the label that traffic is bad in Atlanta. And if you say it enough and your competitors say it enough, people start believing it.”

He conceded there is heavy demand on the system during rush hours, but insisted there is plenty of capacity at other times.

“It flows well when there’s not an event like a wreck. We just need to figure out a different way to maximize (the capacity),” he said. “We don’t have a ‘capacity problem;’ we have a ‘demand problem,’” he said. “Everybody wants to use the roads between 6 and 9 in the morning and 4 and 6 in the afternoon on the same road at the same time.”

Construction of the Northwest Corridor Project, which will add two managed reversible lanes along Interstate 75, “will be a game-changer for Cobb,” he added. Those who use the two lanes will pay a toll based on whatever the level of demand is at the time.

Candidates unveil endorsements

The May 20 primary will be here before we know it, and candidates are expected to unveil endorsements along the way. One candidate who has already received a major endorsement is Bob Weatherford, a former Acworth alderman. Weatherford, with a handful of other candidates, is running for District 1 Cobb Commissioner Helen Goreham’s seat. Goreham is set to retire.

So what big name did Weatherford land? The Cobb Chamber of Commerce. A fundraising event slated at the Georgian Club on April 7 includes a “Who’s Who” of bigwigs including Chamber CEO David Connell, Chamber Chairman Ben Mathis, former Chamber Chairmen Tony Britton, Rob Garcia, Sam Kelly and Greg Morgan. Others include Chamber EDGE co-chair Dan Styf and Chamber Board members Chet Austin, Bobby Baker, David Bottoms, Gary Bottoms, Bob Kiser, John Loud, Bob Prillaman and Bob Walsh.

Suggested contribution for hosts at the event is $2,500.

Other candidates in the race include former commissioner and failed gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryne, Angela Barner, Glenn Melson and Scott Tucker.

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