Tempers flared last week when Interstate 285 traffic plans for SunTrust Park were revealed — plans that could funnel game-bound Braves fans through the surface streets of Sandy Springs.
While relations between the team, Cobb County, and Sandy Springs have been smoothed over, for the moment, the Braves may have surreptitiously tried to steer the conversation away from traffic this week — toward another, equally divisive car-related concern.
A press release from the team served up a preview of what will happen with cars
if when they make it to the stadium. Though, oddly enough, it sounds like the Braves are kind of hoping they don’t make it all the way to SunTrust Park.
Because it turns out the Braves are really cool with you parking somewhere else, in addition to the stadium lots. Not only do the Braves expect people to want to use private lots, but the team "plans to integrate them into [their] traffic management plan." Which really just confirms that the parking the Braves plan to provide won’t be sufficient.
While the parking situation may not be entirely sorted out, the team is sure of one thing: They expect the lots to be safe, which they manage to mention nine times in the short statement.
The Braves referred to the private parking lots as "gypsy lots," which doesn't seem to be a commonly used phrase. The team says, in a nutshell:
"Whether someone charges for parking near SunTrust Park is of no concern to us. Whether the lot is safe for vehicles, pedestrians and doesn't interrupt the flow of traffic is our concern."
Business owners around the stadium worried aloud to 11Alive that Braves fans in private lots could gobble up needed spaces for their customers and staff. Others applauded the extra safety measures that Cobb leaders are promising to dispatch to patrol the lots.
Interestingly enough, the press release starts with the team on the offensive, attacking the AJC — a la Cobb Commission Chairman Tim "It's The Media's Fault" Lee — and the general coverage of the stadium over the last two years, indicating that the critical eye being cast on the execution of the project is unfair and untruthful.
So much for "There’s no crying in baseball..."