MABLETON — A plan to rename roads around Six Flags Over Georgia recently got the go-ahead from the South Cobb Redevelopment Authority.
Before the plan could go into effect in fall 2015, it must also get approval from the Cobb Board of Commissioners.
Dana Johnson, deputy director of the Cobb County Community Development Agency, said the goal is to reduce confusion among residents, businesses and public-safety officials over repetitive road names.
But it may also help rebrand the area struggling with the perception of being a hotbed for crime.
“We have two different roads which are named Six Flags Drive and do not connect to one another in any capacity,” Johnson said.
Most veteran law enforcement and emergency responders have become accustomed to the redundant roads, Johnson said, but newer officials have trouble learning the ropes.
The proposal includes renaming Six Flags Drive, Six Flags Way and a portion of Six Flags Parkway.
One portion of Six Flags Drive might be rebranded City View Drive. The portion of the road that extends from Riverside Parkway could be named Riverside Parkway giving the road the same name throughout.
A connecting road called Six Flags Way may be renamed Harbor Way, a tribute to the new water park opening Memorial Day weekend as part of Six Flags.
Johnson said the renaming, if approved, would have no impact on ZIP codes. The United States Postal Service would deliver mail to both addresses for a year, he said, giving residents and businesses time to make the switch.
Conversations are also taking place with the Department of Drivers Services to work out a plan to replace licenses of impacted residents at no cost, but Johnson said the county is not guaranteeing that yet. Updated business licenses would be provided by the county for free.
The proposed road names are the result of community input, Johnson said. Meetings were held in January with Six Flags area residents to get feedback on the plan and potential road names.
The project coincides with a redevelopment project underway in the south Cobb area, although Johnson said it wasn’t necessarily taken up by the county for that purpose.
“I think being able to combat perception with reality is another important target,” Johnson said.
Does south Cobb get a bad rap?
Barbara Moment, a Six Flags Drive resident, attended Monday’s meeting of the South Cobb Redevelopment Authority, and she thinks the area doesn’t deserve its reputation for high crime.
“It does kind of get a bad rap, although it’s a lot better than it used to be,” Moment said.
The authority is also considering hiring a consultant that would lead a re-branding and marketing campaign to attract developers to south Cobb.
“The first thing is getting everybody bought into the vision,” said Ed Richardson, chairman of the authority.
If approved by both the authority and the county commission, the campaign could get underway as early as this summer.
Richardson pointed to recent development in the area, including the expansion of Six Flags and the construction of the Riverside EpiCenter, and said he wants to see that growth continue.