In two weeks Georgia voters will head to the polls. They'll decide if they want to pay a one-percent sales tax to ease traffic congestion. The single largest project in Cobb County is a rapid bus transit line.
If you ask drivers about traffic along I-75 from Atlanta to Cobb County, they won't mince words.
"Our traffic is incredibly horrible here," said resident Anne Moore.
Cobb County has Cobb Community Transit (CCT) buses, but nothing that runs residents from Cobb County into the city of Atlanta. According to the Cobb Department of Transportation, more than half of the people that live in Cobb County commute.
"Of that 60 percent of Cobb County residents who leave here, over half of them are going to midtown, so this project very much in fact helps our commuters who are getting to that downtown, midtown area for their jobs," said Cobb County Department of Transportation Director Faye DiMassimo.
DiMassimo refers to the project that accounts for the bulk of the money spent in Cobb County if the T-SPLOST project passes, where $695 million is allocated to rapid bus transit. The bus line would go from Acworth through Kennesaw to the MARTA Arts Center Station in midtown Atlanta.
"It's the vehicles, the right of way, maintenance depot, Q jumper lanes, signals, roadway improvements, everything you need and 10 years of operating expenses," said DiMassimo.
Cobb County Commissioner Bob Ott opposes the T-SPLOST project and doesn't think the bus line is the right solution.
"My concern, of course, is the cost to build it, but more importantly, it's not being put where the congestion is. I think everybody would agree we have a congestion problem along 75 and 575," said Ott.
Moore is ready to vote "yes" and pay an extra penny on the dollar in sales tax, but she still has concerns about this particular project.
"Buses are great if people use them, but people also like the convenience of their own cars and going places after work and everything, so I'm hesitant to see all that money invested in that particular project and then it doesn't get used," said Moore.
One thing people agree on is voters need to be informed before the July 31 vote.
Ott is holding a town hall meeting on Monday, July 23. It will be from 7 to 9 p.m. at Mt. Bethel UMC located at 4835 Lower Roswell Road in Marietta.
Two people on each side of the issue will be involved in the debate.
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