Monday was hardly a day at the ballpark for Atlanta Braves President of Development Mike Plant.
Cobb County lawmakers addressed longstanding concerns about traffic around SunTrust Park, as the clock counts down to Opening Day. The AJC reports that Plant told officials the Braves were willing to work with the county and state, but that, “There’s a lot of traffic in Atlanta, I’m not going to solve that.”
The exchange was hardly the first contentious moment since the Braves announced in 2013 they were decamping from Atlanta to the Cumberland area.
Anger has swirled around what many perceive as a lack of planning for the expected crowds in the already congested Cloverleaf vicinity. Issues have included the on-again, off-again pedestrian bridge slated to link parking lots to the stadium, and questions as to where patrons will even be able to park.
And tempers boiled over this summer when it was revealed the Braves wanted to route stadium traffic through the neighboring municipality of Sandy Springs. The ensuing pandemonium garnered a lot of colorful commentary about the lack of transparency as it relates to traffic planning in preparation for SunTrust Park.
Through it all, many across the country have enjoyed a chuckle at the expense of Cobb County, and (almost former-)County Commissioner Tim Lee lost his position due to the fallout.
In a comment that seems almost too absurd to be true — though really just a restatement from earlier admissions — Cobb Transportation Director Jim Wilgus noted there is a “good plan” in place for traffic, adding that a drive to the stadium will just “feel like an extension of the rush hour.”
Hellacious rush hour traffic. That’s the solution? It’ll be very interesting to see how things go in April.