A cellphone/email alert system and an interactive map are among new traffic-project tools the city of Sandy Springs launched on Oct. 4.
The city is gearing up various traffic notification and information systems as development booms and major projects loom, including the new Braves stadium in Cobb County and the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange reconstruction.
The “Sandy Springs Alerts” system allows anyone to receive traffic alerts, as well as emergency weather alerts, via text message or email. It also ties into “Smart911,” which allows registered users to add personal details, such as medical allergies, to a profile that can be accessed by first responders in case of emergency. The traffic alert part includes information about both planned road work and major accidents.
The interactive “TrafficWatch” map shows significant road construction projects around the city, including lane closures. Clicking on a highlighted project brings up a box of details about the project’s timeline and scope. In addition, users can view recent images from city traffic cameras, though that capability was not immediately functional on all cameras. The map is an improved version of one the city previously maintained.
The city also has added live online chat, in addition to the existing phone service, to its Call Center. The Call Center, which operates 24 hours a day, every day, fields any type of non-emergency question or complaint. The new online chat is handled by the same Call Center operators and is logged the same as phone calls. Sandy Springs may be the first city in the nation offering such a 24/7/365 live chat service, said city communications director Sharon Kraun.
The chat feature is accessible from anywhere on the city’s website at sandyspringsga.gov. The phone option remains available at 770-730-5600.
The new traffic tools were announced at the Oct. 4 City Council meeting, the same day most of them went live. They are still being tested and may require tweaks going forward, Kraun said.
In addition to the new digital information systems, the city is in the process of hiring a “construction ambassador” who will coordinate face-to-face contact with residents affected by road work.