Ok, apologies for the Star Wars references but lucky for you, we only have four more opportunities left.

This issue will have a few topics:

  • County News/Updates
    • Code Changes
    • Transit update from Cobb 4 Transit
    • Bike and Ped update from Cobb Streets For All
  • Upcoming social events
  • Upcoming Advocacy Opportunities
  • News & Updates

County News & Updates

Code Changes

In our last issue, we highlighted the proposed changes to the County Code. The hottest topic at the County Board of Commissioners meeting was undoubtedly about trash collection with about 30 people in attendance and the majority of public comment focused on the issue. The county responded by hosting a “Trash Summit” with the trash collection agencies and concerned citizens. Here is video from that summit and based on comments made, it’s expected that the suggested changes to trash collection will either be changed or tabled.

The scheduled public hearings for the proposed code changes are at the next two County Commissioner meetings (September 13th and September 27th) and the next Planning Commission meeting (September 6th).

Transit Update

Whispers around the county are that DOT staff are meeting with the Commissioners and other stakeholders about what their priorities are for a possible 2024 referendum.

Cobb 4 Transit continues to advocate that a plan must include regional transit connectivity and we encourage the county to increase its collaboration with MARTA.

A new operations manager was hired from Orange County, North Carolina and the initial impression from Transit Advisory Board meetings have been promising.

A Transit Advisory Board meeting was held on August 22nd and the main topics are the drop in tracked ridership, staffing concerns, bus stops, and the progress of three new transfer centers.

Bike/Ped Updates

Construction Updates: Construction continues on Cheatham Hill Road and Burnt Hickory Road as part of the trails to provide more bike/ped access near Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park and should be completed in 2023. Also, multiple sidewalk projects continue to be under construction throughout the county.

We are currently working on launching a project tracker and if you have any interest in leading this project, let us know!

Planning Updates: Currently two planned projects are available for public comment. Austell-Powder Springs Road has a survey you can fill out and Noonday Creek Trail extension has an interactive map. I encourage everyone to take a few minutes to provide a response to each.

Of note, there is a proposed change in the County Code to change how developers contribute to bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

Upcoming Social Events

  • Sunday, September 4th: Sierra Club is hosting a Bike & Brunch Ride Along. Starts at Noonday Creek Trail and ends at Marietta Square. Register here!
  • Monday, September 19th: Join Cobb 4 Transit at the Braves-Nationals Game! We are encouraging everyone to take alternative forms of transportation to the game. Sign up here!
  • Saturday, October 1st: Celebrate the launch of Cobb Streets For All and join Root Local with a ride along from Marietta Square to Downtown Smyrna. Register here!

Upcoming Advocacy Opportunities

I highly advise everyone to attend upcoming Board of Commissioners meeting as Public Hearings will be conducted on the County Code. This means the meetings might take a bit longer, but it’s important for our presence to be felt and our voices to be heard.

I have heard from multiple commissioners that they continue to only hear public comment from one side and it puts them in a difficult spot if they want to make changes. We need to increase our attendance and participation if we want to make changes happen.

Tuesday, September 13th @ 9:00 AM will include the first Public Hearing on the Proposed Code Changes

Tuesday, September 27th @ 7:00 PM will include the second Public Hearing on the Proposed Code Changes.

We’ve had multiple friends of A Better Cobb make public comment (thanks Natasha and Derek!) and we need to continue seeing more! Email us at abettercobb@gmail.com if you have concerns about making public comment at an upcoming meeting. It’s easier than you think!

Regarding Cobb Streets For All, we still need a few volunteers to volunteer and be a part of the Leadership Committee to launch the organization.

If you’re looking to get more involved in anything transit, sustainable, bike, or pedestrian related, email abettercobb@gmail.com and we will get you connected with other volunteers!


MARTA’s new Deputy GM plans to speed up big transit projects (Saporta Report)

Cobb County Courier’s Larry Johnson continues his series on getting around the county without a car

Introducing ATL Trains (Urbanize Atlanta) (this is a planner’s take on using existing rail Right of Way to create a regional rail network)

Take Action! Provide public comment on a proposed DOT policy for cities and states to measure their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and set reduction goals. (Bike League)

Freakonomics Radio did a podcast episode asking if public transit should be free.

The War on Cars did a great podcast episode on inclusive biking for everyone!

Did you know that using streetspace and curbspace for bike parking or parklets brings an economic benefit compared to parking?

Speaking of using streetspace for people and not cars, check out this photo we took at a recent concert at the Marietta Square right in front of the Cobb government buildings where the street was closed and filled with families!

Thank you for reading, y’all and please join our Facebook group to join the discussion!

‘til next week!