Fear not, Braves fans, for the Cobb DOT has released images of the on-again/off-again proposed pedestrian bridge which will solve all the swirling concerns about traffic around SunTrust Park. Thanks to the AJC and the Georgia Open Records Act, the images are available to the public. And from all indications, little seems to be standing in the way of the development, save for the unknowns of how much it's going to cost or where it could be built. Fortunately all the important details, like if the bridge will be blue or have arches, are made clear, or at least mildly pixelated with a crease through the middle.
The four images show a few things: 1) A bridge over Interstate 285. 2) Said bridge fading off into a forest on one end and a parking deck on the other. 3) Bus lanes running between said forest and parking deck.
Let's take a moment to break these facts down…
When the Braves' move to Cobb was announced, it came with the promise of improved infrastructure to handle the crowds that cheer on the Braves, including a pedestrian bridge to traverse the sea of cars on I-285 and shuttles to carry fans not up for the scenic walk. From the images, one thing is certain: There is a bridge that has been thought about, at least at the most conceptual level. As for access points, on the OTP side of things, the forest should be replaced by the new plaza outside of the stadium. Unfortunately, the access point for the ITP side of the bridge is slightly more up in the air, with many office complexes unwilling to share their parking lots. Where people will park (a question that has dogged the development from the get-go) and therefore how people will access the bridge remains to be fully answered.
Let's look beyond that small oversight. The drawings indicate that buses or trams may utilize the bridge as well, but don't get your hopes up. It seems the drawings are dated, and sometime over the summer the buses were deemed financially unfeasible. With the buses out of the picture, the Atlanta Regional Commission indicates that previous traffic studies for the development are no longer relevant, as pedestrians will impede the flow of vehicular traffic as they move to the stadium. Because everything wasn't already confusing enough.
Despite the lack of clarity and cohesion among the plans, financially the bridge seems like it will move forward thanks in part to the generosity of Cobb taxpayers. And hey, it'll maybe be blue and red and have some lights and arches!
— Michael Kahn