Left to right: Residents Zach Johnson, Jerica Richardson and Anne Godsey commiserate over traffic in East Cobb while highlighting the worst sections on a map for Cobb DOT. (Meris Lutz/AJC)

Cobb County seeks public input with sales tax initiatives on horizon

Cobb County is seeking input from residents as it creates a comprehensive transportation plan. The plan, officials say, will shape the county for decades to come and form the basis of future sales tax referendums.

Cobb is still several years away from the type of vote to expand transit that failed in Gwinnett last monthRight now, county officials are looking toward 2022 for that, and hope to pair it with a sales tax for road improvements too.

Together, the two sales taxes — road and transit — should not exceed one percent, said Eric Meyer, Cobb’s planning division manager.

On Thursday, Meyer and staff members from the transportation department held the third out of nine town halls where residents participated in a series of activities to highlight traffic congestion problem areas and dangerous intersections, as well as share their frustrations and desires for roads, bike lanes, trails and transit.

“A lot of this has an online version but it’s not the same as people conversing, working through a challenge together,” Meyer said.

The county will use the feedback from the town halls to update its comprehensive transportation plan. Projects from that plan will, in turn, find their way onto the next SPLOST and other sales tax ballot questions.

Speaking after the town hall, Anne Godsey, a retired university lecturer from East Cobb, said she found the activities “interesting,” but she wondered whether the county was really going to use residents’ recommendations. She was also surprised by what she considered sparse turnout of a few dozen people.

“I think transit is such an important issue for Cobb County,” Godsey said.

The remaining town halls will be held:

Monday, April 29, 7 p.m. at the Cobb Senior Wellness Center in Marietta

Tuesday, April 30, 7 p.m. at the Threadmill Complex in Austell

Monday, May 6, 6 p.m. at the Acworth Community Center

Tuesday, May 7, 7 p.m. at the East Cobb Senior Center

Wednesday, May 8, 7 p.m. at the Ben Robertson Community Center in Kennesaw

Thursday, May 9, 7 p.m. at the South Cobb Community Center

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