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The Braves are moving for better parking. But fans may not be able to get to the parking lots

May 13, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

Image (1) braves%20logo.gif for post 3603

Here’s a fun thing from the Braves’ move to Cobb County: a big reason the Braves claim they are moving to Cobb County is because the parking is better up there. I think that’s somewhat disingenuous — they’re moving because that’s where the people with the money are and where the stadium that will make them more money will sit — but, sure, let’s go with the parking thing for the time being.

Turns out that, because some bridge over the interstate is going to cost more money than people first thought, there won’t be an easy way to get people from the parking to the ballpark. From the AJC:

The bridge plan, rolled out soon after the November announcement that the team would relocate to Cobb County in 2017, is key in the Braves’ effort to provide enough parking spaces and get pedestrians from that area to the ballpark without walking along congested roads.

But new questions have surfaced about the bridge project and whether there’s money to pay for it in the existing stadium budget, which includes $14 million in local sales tax earmarked for transportation upgrades.

The bridge was originally slated to cost $3.5 million has risen to $9 million and that’s a huge part of that $14 million upgrade budget.

Or, thinking about it differently, the difference is less than half of what the Braves are paying Dan Uggla this season. So maybe the Braves could pitch in a little? Or is that something too impolite to suggest?

  1. voteforno6 - May 13, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    Don’t they have any mass transit options?

    • bravojawja - May 13, 2014 at 12:57 PM

      HAHAHAHAHAHA! *wipes tears* HAHAHAHAHA!

      • jwbiii - May 13, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        Cobb County Transit serves over 10,000 passengers every day!

      • 18thstreet - May 13, 2014 at 1:35 PM

        Cobb County has 343,473 people in the labor force. I’m not sure if you were being sarcastic, but 10,000 a day is 3 percent of that.

        Hoping this link to the US census works:

        http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk

      • morty999 - May 13, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        Dude, Cobb county isn’t a mass transit kind of county, that’s why the numbers are so low. Cobb is an affluent county that consistently fights mass transit and the problems it brings.

      • bravojawja - May 13, 2014 at 2:43 PM

        Problems like easy access to baseball stadiums?

      • Reflex - May 13, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        Um, what problems does mass transit bring? I mean, where I live I get to see the wealthy suburbs fight mass transit on taxation grounds, but I’ve never heard them claim it brings problems. It just costs money. That they can afford. But don’t want to pay. Because people less affluent than them might use it.

      • DJ MC - May 13, 2014 at 3:05 PM

        @Reflex

        Most of the people who fight mass transit, especially into more affluent areas, do so on the basis of crime. That people from the inner cities–whom you can describe in socioeconomic (the poor) or racial (the blacks/Hispanics) terms–will take advantage of the system to move their criminal activities into new territory.

        Believe me, as someone who supports the idea of enhancing the pitiful mass-transit options in Baltimore, I can’t tell the number of times someone has called the Metro line or the light rail the “rob-and-ride”.

      • Henshaw - May 13, 2014 at 3:12 PM

        RE: Mass Transit

        The problem with mass transit projects is that their underfunded and badly planned. A city like Atlanta needs an efficient and well funded busing system. Rail is too expensive and impractical for cities that have experience massive growth since 1960.

        Sadly money is diverted from busing to rail projects.

        Also, as far as crime is concerned that’s a police funding issue. Crime exists where there aren’t boots on the ground. Want to make it safer? Pay for a larger police force.

      • moogro - May 13, 2014 at 3:23 PM

        Problems?

      • 18thstreet - May 13, 2014 at 5:02 PM

        I live in the 11th richest county in this county, and we have plentiful transit. Problems? We added 100,000 residents over the last 10 years and we’re not driving more.

        http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/22578/montgomery-county-added-100000-residents-since-2002-but-driving-didnt-increase/

      • Reflex - May 14, 2014 at 2:06 AM

        DJ – That seems fairly easy to solve. Add transit cops. I mean seriously, lots of places have mass transit without that issue.

      • jwbiii - May 14, 2014 at 3:00 AM

        18thstreet, no snark. Just facts. If Cobb County Transit doubled their capacity, they could handle 1/3 of the Braves’ current attendance. For 81 dates.

      • DJ MC - May 14, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        @Reflex

        The issue isn’t crime on the trains themselves. In the minds of those doing the fighting, it’s bringing people who commit the crimes to more affluent areas, where they can jump you on the street or rob a store and then hop on the light rail back into the city.

  2. bravojawja - May 13, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    The Braves need to fire their PR department. Every time they open their mouths about why they’re moving, they say something inherently stupid and/or flat-out wrong. Just own it: You’re moving for the money and control Cobb is giving you and Atlanta wouldn’t.

    Also: Thanks for getting me behind the AJC paywall!

  3. 18thstreet - May 13, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    The Braves have been lying about the parking from the beginning. It’s obvious they never gave it a moment’s thought. My guess is that, whenever you see a tree in the photo, it will be a parking space. And wherever you see a cool mixed-use entertainment district, it will also be a parking space.

    • Henshaw - May 13, 2014 at 1:26 PM

      Any sports stadium funded by taxpayers is a bad deal, but I expect the Braves have thought more about parking than you believe.

      • 18thstreet - May 13, 2014 at 1:30 PM

        Oh, I think they gave their lies plenty of thought. They didn’t want their lies to contradict their other lies.

      • Henshaw - May 13, 2014 at 1:33 PM

        I don’t see anything sinister on the Braves’ parts. Communities constantly fall for this trap. From a business perspective it’s a coup for the Braves. New stadium, better location, they own the parking and retail space around the park. Plus, getting in and out of the stadium can be improved over time.

        There was no hope that the issues around Turner Field were ever going to be resolved. It was 50 years of inaction.

      • 18thstreet - May 13, 2014 at 1:36 PM

        50 years of inaction for an 21-year old stadium?

      • Henshaw - May 13, 2014 at 1:44 PM

        Turner Field sits next to the previous Atlanta Fulton County stadium that was built in the mid-60s. That stadium had many of the same problems as Turner Field.

      • 18thstreet - May 13, 2014 at 1:48 PM

        Fair enough.

        But Metro Atlanta’s failure to address traffic is not unique to the area closest to its professional baseball fields. Worst traffic in the country, I believe. We in DC are on that list, but that’s partly because of federal government meddling (we can’t zone where the feds go), and partly because DC, Maryland, and Virginia have to mutually solve a problem that’s difficult for even one jurisdiction to solve. (We can’t raise gas taxes to pay for Metro, for example, because the Virginia Assembly won’t allow it.) Atlanta’s traffic is a tribute to “local control.”

      • Henshaw - May 13, 2014 at 2:09 PM

        There’s a long history of issues with Atlanta transportation. It goes back decades, involves race (not so much now), and it’s just a product of how the town has been built. If you’ve ever traveled around downtown Atlanta the roads go in all directions. It’s just a mess…

        Even if everyone agreed on what to do I don’t think that location will ever be easy to get in and out of for fans. It’s a natural bottleneck. Atlanta is a car down so even if there was a MARTA stop it wouldn’t help that much.

      • 18thstreet - May 13, 2014 at 2:52 PM

        Could you provide the date and time that race ceased to be an issue in Atlanta? I’m hoping we can solve it here.

  4. Joe Vecchio - May 13, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    I for one hope the Cobb County taxpayers get soaked as much as possible on this deal. They’re one of the biggest moocher counties in the country and not surprisingly one of the counties that complains the most about “gummint innaference”.

    • morty999 - May 13, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      That’s hilarious……”gummnint interference” Cobb is one of the wealthiest and most educated counties in Georgia, bar none.

      • Joe Vecchio - May 15, 2014 at 3:27 AM

        Yeah, wealthy on federal money. Lockheed-Martin, dude. Biggest moocher county in one of the bigger moocher states, most of which are of course the slave states.

  5. Henshaw - May 13, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    There are approximately 30,000 parking spaces within 2 miles of the proposed stadium site. That’s not including the 6,000 they’re planning to build for the stadium. I don’t think parking is going to be a problem if the bridge isn’t built.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 13, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      Read the article: the spaces may be there but you have to cross a freeway and traverse heavily-trafficked roads to get to the ballpark. There aren’t too many ballparks which require two mile walks in those circumstances either.

      • Henshaw - May 13, 2014 at 2:26 PM

        The spaces aren’t all across the freeway. There is also a shuttle service planned to move people from the lots further out. Again, they’re building 6000 spots. Turner Field has 2500 more and has about 8000 more seats.

        Parking is the least of the new stadium’s concerns. Adding lanes to 285 at that connection is going to be the main issue.

      • bravojawja - May 13, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        “Adding lanes to 285″ would require state funding and approval. I don’t think the good folks down in Vidalia or over in Martinez or up in Blairsville would appreciate sending their tax dollars to morty999’s precious “wealthiest and most educated” Cobb County.

        Come to think, neither would anyone in Atlanta, metro or city.

      • Henshaw - May 13, 2014 at 3:07 PM

        bravojawja – There’s already a plan in place (before the stadium announcement) for future improvements to that connection. It’s already funded.

      • bravojawja - May 13, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        If the plans predate the stadium deal, do those plans take into account the stadium with all its issues? The pedestrian/transit bridge (that now may not happen), higher traffic volume on game nights/days, the higher cost to buy the land for the new lanes/interchange. It’s now going to cost more to do anything to the roads in that area.

  6. nothanksimdriving123 - May 13, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    They should solve all their problems the same way the Atlanta thrashers did: move to Winnipeg!

    • bravojawja - May 13, 2014 at 4:23 PM

      Go Flames!

    • DJ MC - May 14, 2014 at 5:36 PM

      That would solve some problems, but it seems like it would create others…

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