E-W Connector, or Silver Comet Parkway? Smyrna residents will be finding out soon
by Nikki Wiley
July 18, 2013 12:14 AM | 3486 views | 24 24 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Smyrna Councilman Ron Fennel stands on the Silver Comet Trail next to the East-West Connector.<br>Staff/Nikki Wiley
Smyrna Councilman Ron Fennel stands on the Silver Comet Trail next to the East-West Connector.
Staff/Nikki Wiley
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Motorists may soon find themselves traveling on the Silver Comet Parkway rather than the East-West Connector if a Smyrna councilman gets his way.

Councilman Ron Fennel wants to rename the heavily traveled 18-year-old road because he says Cobb County residents deserve a road named for what he calls one of the area’s greatest assets, the Silver Comet Trail. The trail begins in Smyrna and will connect Atlanta and Birmingham once finished.

The road begins near Interstate 285 through Smyrna, turning into Barrett Parkway at Powder Springs Road.

Fennel said it was never intended to be called the East-West Connector.

“It was a description on an engineering drawing,” he said. “Nobody bothered to take the next step and put a proper moniker on this road.”

He maintains the “destination appeal” of the county would be enhanced by the name change.

“It affects how people perceive it,” Fennel said. “We’re not an afterthought. We’re a neighborhood and community.”

East-West Connector could be the name of a road in any town.

“The Silver Comet Parkway can only be in Cobb County,” he said.

Fennel is asking for public comments and will meet with interested residents tonight at a 7 p.m. town hall at the Presbyterian Village at 2000 East-West Connector in Austell.

Public opinion

Fennel says he’s heard more positive reaction than negative, having received emails from constituents who are excited about the chance to pay homage to the trail.

Still, some local business owners aren’t convinced.

Vincent Lee owns Johnny Brusco’s New York Style Pizza at 1435 Highlands Ridge Road off the Connector and wasn’t aware of the proposal.

Lee thinks it will cause confusion for existing and potential customers.

“Everybody knows about this spot as being on the East-West Connector,” Lee said.

Dr. Sean Harper, co-owner of Smyrna Eye Group at 4280 East-West Connector, agrees.

“Changing the name of the street, while that may be in some people’s interest to draw more business into the area, from our standpoint I think it’s going to hurt our business,” Harper said.

This wouldn’t be the first time his business has undergone a change of address. When it first opened, the property had an address on South Cobb Drive. Harper petitioned to change it to the East-West Connector.

“We wanted to make sure that our address reflected where we are,” he said.

It took time for patients to adjust, but the bigger hassle was letting vendors and insurance companies know about the change. Deliveries would be returned or held and billing was affected, he said.

“Even to this day, the current address doesn’t even show on many people’s (global positioning system),” he said.

Harper doesn’t want to go through that again.

Cooperation essential

The almost nine-mile road extends through Smyrna and unincorporated Cobb County. Therefore the City Council and Cobb Board of Commissioners would have to grant approval for the name change.

“If approved, we would notify the post office, utilities and those along the road of the new name,” county spokesman Robert Quigley said.

Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon supported a resolution the City Council passed unanimously in February asking the county commission to join the city in adopting the new name.

Bacon praised Fennel for seeking public opinion.

“I think he’s going about it the right way if it is going to be changed,” Bacon said. “You ought to have a series of public hearings.”

But Bacon knows that some people won’t be happy. A retired United States Postal Service postmaster, Bacon says road name changes caused more worry in the past because mail was the main way people communicated.

“I think that’s still a concern today,” he said.

Commissioner Lisa Cupid, who represents the area, did not return phone messages Wednesday.
Comments
(24)
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anonymous
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July 21, 2013
@Already got a SC. I give you credit for trying to make amends. However, that person you called "that idiot witness just for being so stupid" cancelled out your apology. Try sensitivity training.

Vinings wannabe
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July 19, 2013
It looks like the Smyrna propaganda team is out in force. The unfortunate truth for Smyrna is it's being held back and kept poor by design. Smart and educated people would push for high end development on a high profile corner, as Vinings has accomplished. In turn, Vinings homeowners see high home values. Smyrna's motto must be 'keepin' it poor'.

The scores for Smyrna schools are impossible to ignore. Instead of spinning the truth, anonymous would better serve residents if he worked on a solution. He/she seems happy to live with mediocrity.
anonymous
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July 22, 2013
Laughable. Vinings has become a traffic nightmare of commercialism. Vinings has accomplished becoming the "dirtiest" most confusing place to be in Cobb

County.
anonymous
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July 19, 2013
I totally agree with you, Mike in Smyrna. This property has been fought over like private citizens and the city own it. A donut shop and an auto parts store sound like winning propositions to me. In the past, there was vocalization that high-rise condos should be built there instead. Well, if I am in the market for a high-rise condo, it would not be one for which I had to fight horrendous traffic to get in and out of all the time. City views are nice, but Smyrna is not the City of Atlanta. For all the negatives of living on this piece of property, a few hours of twinkling lights off afar in Atlanta, seen from my living room window from 9:00 p.m., would never make up for it. "City views?" Come on, people.
Another comment
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July 18, 2013
I am surprised the low end builders don't want to name it Vinings Parkway. Then they could really mislead every buyer by naming every Mapleton and calling it Vinings something. It's too bad we have the V-103 D-J they brought down from NJ, who stole Canadian Sandra's gig on property Vigins and is promoting Smyrna as the best place for Black couples to buy in the Atlanta area. Thank Goodness most of them can't afford it and want to go to Mapleton or Clayton County. We don't need more future gang bangers.
mike1296
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July 20, 2013
Boy aren't u somethin, i'm s 52 yr old white guy, and am amazed at how IGNORANT some folks can be. How bout love ur fellow man. If that's beneath you, maybe try a bit of TOLERANCE, if you can't handle that, go look in the mirror and repeat, humility, compassion and grace a couple times . See what that man your looking at REALLY looks like.
anonymous
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July 21, 2013
Mapleton? Who are YOU trying to mislead calling Mableton Mapleton? There is no Mapleton in Cobb County. You must be talking about Mableton.
JaynieBeth
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July 18, 2013
Changing the name makes no sense. Just to change the street signs would be an immense burden on the taxpayers. And it would be chaotic in the long run, for both motorists and businesses who have to use it.

And couldn't we be a little more creative than to "borrow" the name of a nearby walking/jogging/biking trail? The Silver Comet name comes from the name of the train that ran on the former tracks (now converted to greenspace). So having the trail named Silver Comet is justifiable. Changing the name of the Connector is not. It doesn't follow the trail - it's just nearby.
Dave.
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July 18, 2013
For businesses, just give the switch a transition period where it goes by both names for awhile, allowing time to make changes and run out materials (envelopes, business cards, etc.) with the old name on them.

Windy Hill Road in Smyrna was once Jones Shaw Road. A section of Barrett Parkway in west Cobb was once something else (I've already forgotten what it was called).
Dave.
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July 18, 2013
I think it's a great idea.

The southern part of the county does have an identity crisis. It's clear that "East-West Connector" was never meant to be permanent and adds zero with regard to charm and BRANDING. The Silver Comet Trail is a great resource for the entire metro area that deserves more recognition, as does south Cobb.

If you're a developer, "Silver Comet Parkway" is much more appealing than "East-West Connector." And no one is going to confuse Silver Comet trail and parkway. ("Honey, you're going jogging on a highway?") Stop being ridiculous.

State Bridge Road became Old Milton Parkway 15 years ago and it helped brand the area - in fact, many people at that didn't know the area was once known as Milton County. Now everyone knows. Likewise, everyone would soon know that the Silver Comet trail begins in Smyrna and travels through south Cobb.
English Teatime
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July 18, 2013
If it's renamed, people will still call it East/West Connector. I still call Cobb Parkway "the 4-lane."
anonymous
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July 19, 2013
I still call it simply "41."
Westcobber2
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July 18, 2013
It should just be named Barrett Parkway from start to finish!
Outer Perimeter
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July 18, 2013
How about naming it "Stop and Go Road"?
Mike In Smyrna
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July 18, 2013
Leave as is. A name change is not going to improve the quality of life. It is not going to save money. It is not going to make money. It is not going to alleviate traffic. It will co$t the businessperson with an east-west connector address. It will co$t the taxpayer to change out the street signs.

Destination appeal? Husband to Wife - Cobb County has a road named the Silver Comet Parkway. Wife to Husband – We must go to this Cobb County and see this Silver Comet Parkway. Husband to Wife – The Silver Comet Parkway must be magical. It does show on our GPS system.

Perceive? Husband to Wife – There is an 18-year old road in Cobb County named the East-West Connector. Wife to Husband - Those Cobb County hipsters are out of control. I am glad that we reside ITP.

Greater Need
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July 18, 2013
The mayor and council just approved a Krispy Creme and Auto Zone for that very heavily traveled, vacant piece of real estate with Atlanta skyline views at the East-West Connector & South Cobb Drive. Forget the road name change, what Smyrna desperately needs is a new mayor and council!
Mike In Smyrna
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July 18, 2013
Just approved?? The discussion has been ongoing for months. That is a no-win piece of property. The city does not own the property. The city council cannot dictate to the developer to build. The city council cannot dictate to a business to locate at that site. It is Business 101 – In today's business environment, a bank is not going to loan money to build unless the developer has tenants signed to occupy. An entrepreneur is not going to occupy unless they can get a return on their investment.

The Atlanta skyline is nice. However, it has nothing to do with the property or location. The piece of property is a dog due to its limited size and the terrane issues. The major intersection is not a plus. Are you aware that two or three of the strip centers in the immediate neighborhood have been through bankruptcy proceeding in the last couple of years.

If you have a better thought – form a private equity firm – build the project and get rich. The American Dream.

Already got a SC
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July 18, 2013
We already have a Silver Comet. Why create confusion by also changing the name of some road the silver comet? Naming something that carries cars "Silver Comet" besmirches and diminishes the name "Silver Comet."



If the East West Connector's name simply must be changed, how about instead one of these?

- Parkway to the Country Slums

- Strip Mall Alley

- Dr Trayyon Martin Lane (we'll have to wait until after Morehouse posthumously awards his PhD but I am sure that will be ANY day now)
anonymous
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July 18, 2013
Your reply tells us a lot about you. The country slums wouldn't have you, I can tell you that. To make a joke about someone's slain son is lower than slum dirt. You might want to at least spell his name right. Oh, well, stupidity abounds everywhere. I'll just consider the source. It is people like you that keep hatred alive.
Hobnail Boot
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July 18, 2013
Way to keep it classy. Jokes about a dead kid are hilarious, especially when you make it even more overtly racist by crapping on a historically black school that also happens to be one of our state's best academic institutions. Any valid point you made in the first half of your comment was more than negated by your colossal failed attempt at humor.
Another comment
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July 19, 2013
All three of the Martin Family just announced on the Dr. Drew show that they plan on mooching for ever off the Trayvon Martin Foundation they set up. A tax exempt foundation. That is where they have each put their settlements and their appearance fees for all network appearances and speaking fees. Then they will just get poverty level salary's so they can still get all the government benefits. Also, look up where Trayvon's father as recently as 2010 was posing in Red, Crips colors flashing gang signs. He had his gang tattoo on his neck tattoo's over with praying hands on the recommendation of the media consultant to get bigger bucks.
Already got a SC
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July 19, 2013
Apologies to Trayvon. I was more making fun of the people who live out the East West Connector, as they would be up in all their arms if the road got named for Trayvon.

With the Morehouse / PhD quip I was making fun of the college offering the degree to that idiot witness just for being so stupid. Sorry, Morehouse.
FROM TEXAS
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July 18, 2013
That trail looks like a good place for the overpriced light rail I hundred and fifty years ago the railroad thought the same thing. But the chamber member’s property is all on U S 41 and they don’t want Roy Boy Barnes being able to use his Mableton from Based Code.
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