Cobb Parkway needs invigorating via public transit
September 27, 2013 12:21 AM | 1767 views | 6 6 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR: I am a proponent of good public transportation and learned more about it during a recent trip I made to Cleveland. Also, Chicago is perhaps my favorite town to visit in large part because of its public transportation and walkable routes.

Cobb County is in the midst of an update to the County Transportation Plan to analyze needs and to develop potential solutions in the near term, while including alternatives through 2040. Evaluating what is successful and working in other communities seems sensible to me.

Our population density will only increase and already the population density from the north Cobb line to downtown Atlanta (4.32 per acre) is similar to Cleveland (4.2) and Phoenix (4.99), which have already implemented innovative transportation systems that are delivering as designed. Cleveland’s has been such a success, in the last week it has kicked off another phase.

My interest in alternative transportation is primarily two-fold. As our population ages it would be safer and give seniors more mobility if we have an effective public transportation system. I hope in a decade or two it will be my primary means of transportation. An improved system will also make it easier and less costly for those who do not have personal vehicles to get to work. Transportation is a real barrier to employment for many in the county and our region.

It is truly a quality of life issue and will become even more so in the future. Most young people don’t want to spend hours a week in their car. Young professionals that we are educating in our tremendous institutions in Cobb including Kennesaw State University, Southern Polytechnic State University, Life University and Chattahoochee Technical College are more likely to stay in Cobb with its growing economic centers in Town Center and Cumberland if it is easy to be active and mobile. More and more students start their own businesses and we should want them to develop them here.

There is no corridor more important to the future of Cobb than U.S. 41 in its overall impact. And, 59 percent of Cobb’s population lives within five miles of it. If it is invigorated by improved transportation, its businesses will see growth and the property values will grow. Cleveland has seen this. I hope we can, too.

My business is based in Cobb and some may say I am a proponent to line my own pocket. While I hope my firm benefits from any growth of the county, my real goal is to improve my quality of life — to be able to get from Cumberland to Marietta reliably in 20 minutes at 10 a.m. or 5 p.m.

I have read with interest some of the observations and opinions related to the future of transportation in Cobb County in your paper. For some, doing little or nothing is a popular option. But to me, we need to use all the tools available to meet future challenges. We cannot simply dismiss the proposed transit solution because it is not easy.

Cobb County has always been a place of vision and of smart choices using all the tools available. We should continue that tradition in our transportation planning and implementation.

Steve Byrne Galleria
Comments-icon Post a Comment
September 30, 2013
It is not the job of government to "invigorate" private businesses! It IS, however, its job to SUPPORT private businesses with the normal infrastructure necessary to do business.

If government uses taxpayer dollars to buy a shiny new BRT/Light Rail line for Cobb Parkway, why not simply use taxpayer dollars to pay for limo service for any customer of those businesses? It might actually be cheaper!

None of those options, BRT, light rail nor limo, will alleviate traffic congestion nor will they reduce air pollution. Therefore, limo would be our best option because it raises "quality of life" for all customers of those businesses.

In case you missed the dripping sarcasm, your logic is flawed and your motive is transparent.
September 30, 2013
Are not roads paid for by taxpayers? are you advocating that the County should not pave roads? Where is it written that it is governments job to provide infrastructure?

And do you really think that MARTA does not reduce traffic (and pollution) along the GA 400 corridor?

It seems you simply choose to support only your preferred method of transportation and ignore the possibility of other possibilities.
October 01, 2013
Proponent, most people view roads as necessary to provide access. This goes back AT LEAST to the Appian Way. No dispute. But there is a fine line between promoting commerce and facilitating it.

And, as far as MARTA goes, it does reduce traffic in some corridors. Is it significant? I doubt it. Road congestion is still horrendous. Is the cost of building and subsidizing MARTA worth it? NO! Are there other alternatives with the potential to reduce those costs dramatically? ABSOLUTELY!

If RIDERSHIP can be established at a competitive price for a competitive service, it could happen via private enterprise. If service is below par, ridership likely won't materialize and subsidizing a losing operation is NEVER a good thing!
Not for Ott
October 06, 2013
Bob, your use of funny names can not hide the fact you blog to bash those who are trying to provide betterment for Cobb County. Since you claim to fly so much, why dont you fly to Charlotte, Cleveland, Pheonix and other places who have helped themselves and are seeing significant economic development occuring as a result of their efforts. Take Sifen, O'Connor, Hovey, Weldon and your boys with you so that you all can be educated at one time.
Boot Tim Lee
September 27, 2013
The Bus system is a complete failure. Most folks don't want anything to do with CCT, but it was shoved down our throat. The buses are nearly empty and this whole project is a complete waste of tax money. For those who don't have a personal vehicle to get to work, there are junky used car lots all up and down the roads in Mableton and Austell, right next to the muslim owned liquor stores, pawn shops and gold buying places. Buy here, pay here. They'll hook you up. Cobb looks like Detroit thanks to Tim Lee's vision.
CCT is just fine
September 28, 2013
Interesting that when boot Tim Lee uses terms like "muslim owned liquor store" etc. it is not considered hate speech when obviously it was his intent. If he had used "Jew" or Christian, I am sure his letter would not have been accepted. Anyway this Boot trash has obviously has never been on a CCT bus but spews lies and hate anyway. I suggest readers ignore this kind of letter because it is written by someone who spews hate and has no concern for our great County. And by the way Mr Lee is trying to improve our county and is not trying to trash it like you and the haters.
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