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Faced with Traffic-geddon, Braves & Sandy Springs Kiss, Make Up

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Formerly warring factions promise to collaborate in hopes of ‘win-win scenario,’ gridlock solution

A week ago, it sounded like Sandy Springs denizens were on the verge of taking up arms against neighboring Cobb County, whose pirated MLB team was planning to flood the city’s streets with diverted drivers en route to Braves games.

But now a truce — and productive, governmental collaboration — appears to be at hand.

Quick recap: Cobb County’s traffic guy came before Sandy Springs government last week with news that large electronic signs with "dynamic messages" would be installed to reroute thousands of Interstate 285 drivers onto the city’s surface streets as a planned shortcut to SunTrust Park. Collective gasp!

Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul, professing outrage, called the plans a "nightmare" and blasted Cobb County officials for not returning his calls regarding traffic visions for the new Braves stadium, according to Reporter Newspapers.

The Braves, however, cried foul ball.

In an email to Curbed Atlanta, a Braves PR rep pointed out that Mayor Paul had actually suggested a similar traffic route (with messaging signs) in an August 2014 letter to team officials, suggesting that hizzoner’s claims of being "blindsided" were empty.

"The mayor can say he doesn’t like it, but it’s hard to say he didn’t know that was being considered in the plan when he made specific requests," wrote the PR rep in an email.

In any case, Cobb officials apparently heeded Sandy Springs’ request to tear down that wall (of unreturned phone calls), and Mayor Paul met with Cobb’s (possibly outgoing) Chairman Tim Lee late last week. (Paul also told the AJC his ideas in the 2014 letter were different — and less messy — than those that Cobb officials recently presented).

In fact, the commish and mayor issued a joint statement, pledging to collaborate with one another to work toward a "win-win scenario for both communities" and everlasting traffic harmony between Cobb and its sovereign neighbor.

The fairly tale ending — or bloodbath divorce saga — is yet written. But Mike Plant, Braves President of Development, told the AJC the team understands traffic worries, plans to work with local governments to address them, and will present an update on transportation efforts in Cobb County and other afflicted communities in coming weeks.