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The Cumberland Community Improvement District (CID) released renderings, a website and branding for the Cumberland Sweep, a 3-mile multimodal path and shuttle system, yesterday at the CID’s Board Meeting. The newly christened Cumberland Sweep is designed to “improve connectivity throughout the core of the Cumberland area with dedicated walking and cycling lanes and an autonomous shuttle system” that will circumnavigate the bourgeoning area of Cobb County.
With the cascading successes of the BeltLine, it seems every city in the Atlanta area is building their own version, but the Cumberland Sweep is the first to feature an “autonomous shuttle system” that will follow the same route as the multi-modal path. Autonomous shuttles have been implemented in certain applications such as on closed campuses and airports, however few if any are currently being used as public transportation on public roads. It is unclear how the Sweep plans to navigate the technological and legal hurdles of implementing autonomous shuttles, however having a purpose built, dedicated lane would undoubtedly help things come to fruition.
In a press release announcing the project’s branding, John Shern, Chairman, Cumberland CID Board of Directors said that “the Sweep means movement and our goal is to move people more effectively and efficiently around the Cumberland area. This vital transportation resource will make our region more accessible connecting businesses, residents, and visitors to the best of what Cumberland has to offer.”
It is perhaps ironic that a commercial district defined by its location near a massive highway interchange seems so intent on pursuing alternate transportation modes, however the district has already invested heavily in a network of paths that circulate through the area and connect to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, including the Rottenwood Creek Trail, Bob Callan Trail, and the Mountain to River Trail. These amenities have are now a major part of the marketing package for new development in the area, such as the recently reported Vue II along the Rottenwood Creek Trail.
The Cumberland Sweep circumnavigate the district and connect to several major destinations including Truist Park, The Battery Atlanta, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Cumberland Mall, Cobb Galleria Centre, Bob Callan Trail, Akers Mill Trail, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA) and local bike share stations.
According to a timeline provided on the project’s website, the the designers of the Sweep will start preliminary work sometime in the next year, and construction is expected to start in 2024.