Category Archives: People

Beyond Transportation

Georgia DOT explores programs to expand Navigator 511 statewide and improve telecommunications across Georgia

ATLANTA, GA – Increasingly, the world is dependent on high-speed internet and reliable cell phone service. But many throughout Georgia rely on spotty or inconsistent cellular and slow internet.

Better days may be ahead as Georgia DOT explores two initiatives—broadband and wireless—that use the state-owned right-of-way (ROW) to expand the 511 Navigator system statewide, as well as enhance telecommunications for all Georgians.

“We are looking at the potential to use cutting-edge technology to improve the everyday lives of Georgians – not only by expanding and enhancing statewide traffic communications, but also by improving cell phone and broadband internet options for the public,” GDOT Division Director of Operations John Hibbard, P.E. explained today in a presentation to the State Transportation Board. “Georgia DOT has no desire to get into the utility business. These are public-private partnerships—P3s—that would be financed, developed, managed and maintained by private contractors on state-owned property.”

The department is reviewing responses from the broadband and cellular industries to Georgia DOT’s requests for information (RFI) about two potential programs.

  • The broadband initiative would install conduit on the ROW along all Georgia interstates. The developer would sell or lease the conduit space to others who would install fiber-optic cable for private use. Fiber-optic technology transmits data through durable thin glass strands that carry a tremendous amount of data at exceptionally fast speeds. Installing this fiber would provide improved statewide internet coverage to meet the internet needs of rural communities while enabling GDOT to better connect all offices and improve traffic management throughout Georgia.

    “80 percent of Georgians live within 20 miles of an interstate,” Hibbard said. “Installing this technology along the interstates should result in tremendous benefits for all Georgians, especially those in rural regions.”

  • The wireless initiative would utilize “small cell” poles on the ROW of state routes to facilitate the change from 4G technology to 5G, which offers far greater speed and capacity. The developer would sell or lease space on the poles for use by wireless communications providers. Existing poles would be used when possible. Where a new pole must be installed, its placement along the ROW would be carefully considered, with public safety being the primary consideration. While small cell poles are much shorter than traditional cell phone towers—50 feet versus 250 feet—more are required because 5G travels shorter distances. This technology would meet the wireless communications needs of Georgia DOT, as well as those of the public.

“The potential benefits are enormous, not only for transportation management in Georgia, but also for people in their homes and businesses, and for the economic development that could result from increased connections,” Hibbard said. “Several states have had varying degrees of success with similar programs. We are looking at all angles to come up with just the right model for Georgia.”

Gov. Nathan Deal and state legislators are supportive of initial concepts. The next step, after the first of the year, would be for Georgia DOT to solicit proposals.

Motorists Reminded To Stay Away From The Wheel If They Plan To Celebrate Labor Day Holiday With Alcohol

(Atlanta) –  Motorists planning to end their summer with a trip during the Labor Day holiday weekend are reminded to make sure they do not get behind the wheel if their plans include drinking alcohol.

Those adults planning to drink alcoholic beverages during the long holiday weekend are urged to make plans now for a sober ride home.

The Labor Day holiday weekend travel period will officially begin in Georgia at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, September 1 and will end at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 4.

“Whether you are going to the beach, lake, mountains or a football tailgate, we want all Georgians to enjoy the last unofficial weekend of the summer,” Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said. “We also want everyone to come home safe, and the way to make sure that happens is to not get behind the wheel if you have been drinking alcohol.”

Labor Day weekend marks the end of the “100 Days of Summer” travel period in Georgia and across the nation.

Unfortunately, almost 400 people have been killed in traffic crashes throughout the state since the start of the 100-day summer travel period during the Memorial Day holiday weekend in May of this year.

Georgia law enforcement officers are asking motorists to pay attention to the road like they did during last month’s “Operation Southern Shield”.

The number of traffic fatalities in Georgia during the highly publicized speeding awareness initiative July 17-23 was 45% lower than the previous week.

Crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows alcohol is factor in one out of every four traffic deaths in the state of Georgia.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Safety, 13 people were killed during the 78-hour Labor Day travel period in Georgia last year.  Troopers also made 320 DUI arrests during last year’s holiday weekend, which began at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, September 2 and ended at 11:59 a.m. on Monday, September 5.

“Not getting a sober ride home after having a few alcoholic beverages because you may only have a short distance to drive is a recipe for disaster,” Georgia Department of Public Safety Commissioner Colonel Mark C. McDonough said. “Risking your safety and selfishly risking the safety of somebody else by getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking is not worth it.”

A recent study by WalletHub.com found Georgia ranked 2nd in the nation for the strictest DUI laws as state and local law enforcement officers continue to maintain a zero tolerance policy by taking all impaired drivers to jail.  No warnings.  No excuses.

Motorists can avoid spending their holiday behind bars by designating a driver, calling a cab or ride service, or using AAA’s Tow-To-Go which will be providing free rides and tows for up to 10 miles from Friday, September 1 to 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 5.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety’s free DriveSoberGA app will also dial the Tow-To-Go number for motorists, as well as provide a list of cab companies in 14 cities around Georgia.

For more information about the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, visit gahighwaysafety.org or www.headsUPgeorgia.com.

Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/gahighwaysafety and on Twitter at @gohsgeorgia for the latest highway safety information.

Powerball Jackpot Increases From $650M to $700M for Wednesday’s Drawing

ATLANTA – As a result of rapid sales, Georgia Lottery officials announced today that the Powerball estimated jackpot has been raised from $650 million to $700 million for Wednesday’s drawing.

The jackpot began rolling June 14 and has rolled 20 times.

Powerball offers two jackpot payment options: the $700 million jackpot prize paid over 29 years in 30 graduated payments; or the cash option, which is approximately $443 million.

Powerball tickets are $2 per play.

As with all other Georgia Lottery games, proceeds from Powerball will benefit education in the state of Georgia.

Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corp. has returned more than $18.7 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia’s Pre-K Program. More than 1.7 million students have received HOPE, and more than 1.4 million 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.

POWERBALL FAST FACTS

Draw Date: Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017

Estimated Jackpot Amount: $700 million
Annuity Amount: Jackpot prize paid over 29 years in 30 graduated payments
Cash Option Amount: Approximately $443 million
Cost to Play: $2 per play; an additional $1 per play to add the Power Play multiplier
Drawings: 11 p.m. (ET) every Wednesday and Saturday
Overall Odds of Winning Any Prize: Approximately 1:24.87
Odds of Winning Jackpot Prize: Approximately 1:292 million
Date Jackpot Began Rolling: June 14, 2017
Number of Rolls: 20
Last Winning Jackpot Ticket: June 10, 2017 ($447.8M – California)
#1 Powerball Jackpot: Jan. 13, 2016 – $1.586 billion jackpot (Calif.; Fla.; and Tenn.)

For more information on the Georgia Lottery Corp. and Powerball, please visit: www.galottery.com and www.powerball.com 

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