Cobb County residents get green light to slow down traffic

The Cobb County Department of Transportation (DOT) says speeding through residential streets is a big problem. In fact, it's one of the most common complaints they get. Now, the county is making it easier for residents to get those drivers to slow down.

"They just fly down here and turn around like it's a racing track down here," said Sebastian Quiroga, who lives in a neighborhood off Bells Ferry Road.

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Cobb County residents in neighborhoods large and small are fed up with drivers zipping through their streets.

"Sometimes they drive way too fast," said Quiroga. "We have cats, dogs, kids."

Cobb County has now changed its traffic-calming policy, giving neighborhoods more options when it comes to ways to get drivers to put on their brakes. 

"Raised crosswalks, raised intersections, roundabouts or speed cushions. Chicanes or lateral shifts that build small islands that cause people to drive not just a straight away but force some of those lateral shifts which is going to force the driver to slow down a bit," said Cobb County DOT Director Drew Raessler.

Prior to the new policy, the only options available were speed humps and big speed display signs.

The new policy also lowers the speed limit threshold, looking at the speed that 85% of the traffic is going.

"For neighborhood streets that are typically 25 miles an hour, that threshold was dropped to 32 miles an hour," said Raessler.

When residents report a problem, Cobb DOT takes a look and determines if there's a noticeable speeding problem. If there is, they would suggest what would work best to slow down traffic. If more than 65% of the residents agree to it, the plan goes back to the board of commissioners for approval and funding. 

"Speed is one of the biggest indicators of how severe a crash would be, so anything we can do to force lower speeds we think makes neighborhoods more livable and our streets safer," said Raessler.

"Accidents happen in less than a second, so people should be aware. Slow down," said Quiroga.