Gwinnett County - GWINNETT CO., Ga.--It's being called "The GR8 Exchange on Transportation in Gwinnett" and it's going on this week. It's a chance for Gwinnett County drivers to speak up. The grassroots effort is hoping to open the dialogue and get people talking about the transportation needs in the county, so that in 10, 20 or 30 years down the road, it's closer to where it needs to be.
There's one thing we can probably all agree on, no one likes traffic. "I think it's terrible. The Atlanta area period," says Gwinnett County driver Leon Kenney.
It's the first ever "GR8 Exchange on Transportation" week, spearheaded by the Gwinnett Village Improvement District. If you live or work in Gwinnett, officials want to hear from you.
"We're asking folks to have a conversation about transportation and ultimately text in to an 8 question survey," explains Chuck Warbington, the Executive Director, Gwinnett Village Improvement District.
The goal here is to come up with realistic ways to move the county forward 10 and 20 years down the road. "This is a dynamic community. People are still coming here. They want to live here and they want to work here and we need to be looking toward our future of how we're going to move people around," adds Warbington.
So far, the survey shows people want to be able to get to work and get to Atlanta easier.
"We've been very excited about the response that we're getting. Some of the responses that people are texting in are paragraphs, it's not just one word issues or solutions," Warbington says.
A lot of drivers are bringing the topic of public transit, specifically MARTA, back to the forefront. "In regards to Gwinnett County, there's really only one option in regards to transportation mode and that's by car," he explains
When it comes to solutions, drivers also seem to be willing to pay for an easier, faster commute, according to the survey results. "Convenience was trending 51% and cost was around 9%. So what that tells me is that people want something that's very convenient solution, whether it's intersection imrpovements, sidewalks, or transit that's convenient to them and they're willing to pay a little more for it," outlines Warbington.
Overall drivers just seem to be happy their opinion counts. "I don't know what the solution is, but it needs to be addressed," adds Kenney.
"This is more than just talking about solutions, this will lead into an implementation plan that we hope the CIDs, the cities and the county--as well as the state and federal folks will be involved in," Warbington says.
Warbington says the county and the cities in Gwinnett support the conversation being started. He says hundreds of community events and civic meetings have been scheduled to talk about transportation this week.
To get involved from your cell phone, you can text "JOIN" to the number 74029. You can also go straight to their website: http://www.thegr8exchange.com/