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Cobb Commute Eased By New Traffic Center | News

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Cobb Commute Eased By New Traffic Center

COBB COUNTY, GA -- If you're driving in Cobb County, someone is watching over you. And that someone may be making your commute a little bit easier.

Cobb County Transportation officials are hoping a new Regional Transportation Management Center will help you navigate through traffic during rush hour.

A woman who said her name was "Honey" said she drives through one of the county's busiest intersections every day. "Up in this area, it's pretty tough," she said about the Windy Hill Road and Highway 41 corridor. "It's always kind of congested."

Marco Rizk was more critical. "Honestly I hate it, and I avoid it at all costs," he said.

Cobb County's Department of Transportation recently took a big step in alleviating some of the congestion by building this $4.4 million dollar Regional Traffic Management Center. Right now the center is staffed by two people who monitor as many as 32 traffic cameras at a time. They look for problems and when they find them, they can make adjustments. "We can verify the incident and we can share our information with other agencies," said Brook Martin, Cobb County's Traffic Signal Systems Manager. "And we can adjust traffic signal timing when necessary."

From the Traffic Management Center the operators can monitor 60-cameras around the county, most of them at busy intersections like Windy Hill Road and Highway 41. They can also make adjustments to over 400 traffic lights around the county. "We have three main functions," Martin said. "Traffic signal management, incident management and traveler information we share with the public.

Commuter Brian Cox said he wasn't so sure the Traffic Management Center was a good idea. "Because it's going to make us pay more money," he said.

But out of the $4.4 million dollar cost, the county only had to pay 20-percent, or about $880,000. The rest was federally funded. That might not seem like such a steep cost to many commuters who grind their way through traffic in rush hour.

The Traffic Management Center is monitoring traffic 12 hours a day from 6am to 6pm. Martin said they are hoping to staff it 24-7 in the future.

Commuters can access real-time streaming video of traffic and road conditions from Cobb County's website. You can also get traffic updates on Twitter @cobbcountygovt.



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