Great Exchange In Gwinnett Driving New Effort On Traffic

Listen to the interview.

Chuck Warbington lives in northern Gwinnett County, but he works just about as far south in the county as you can go, on Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Norcross, Georgia. He spends almost two hours a day in the car, driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic, in the congestion that metro Atlanta is known for, commuting to and from work. And he’s not alone. Hundreds of thousands of residents make a similar commute every day.

“My commute is 50, 55 minutes, and I never leave the county, using Highway 316 and I-85,” Warbington said during an interview on “A Closer Look.”

But Warbington isn’t the average commuter. He’s the executive director of Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District and part of a grassroots effort in Gwinnett County aimed at reducing overcrowded highways and long commutes.

“The traffic congestion is something we deal with every day. It affects our quality of life, the business, and everything that we do,” Warbington said.

“We wanted to make sure we had an opportunity to set the stage for folks to have a free-flow conversation about transportation,” he said.

County leaders kicked off a new campaign called the Great (GR8) Exchange on Transportation this month aimed at getting people to talk about the congestion problem and how to solve it.

Next week, between August 24 and August 29, campaign leaders, organizers and volunteers hope to have 50,000 conversations with residents and communities across the county on the problem and possible solution.

Warbington said the campaign wants to talk with folks who have not traditionally had a seat at the table.

Ultimately Warbington believes it’s up to Gwinnett residents to decide how to best solve the county’s transportation troubles moving forward.

WABE’s Eboni Lemon, Rose Scott, and Denis O’Hayer contributed to this story.