A July 9 concert by heavy metal band Metallica is the latest major event announced at the new Braves stadium in Cobb County as neighboring Sandy Springs plots ways to cope with its traffic.

Metallica will perform at SunTrust Park on July 9. (Special)

A full slate of Braves baseball games will begin in April at SunTrust Park in the Cumberland area, and the new stadium’s role as a concert venue also kicks off that month with Billy Joel.

Sandy Springs officials meet regularly with the Atlanta Braves and Cobb County officials about traffic planning, and the City Council got an update on those discussions at its Feb. 7 meeting. But there were few new details. Mayor Rusty Paul repeated his assumption that traffic will be a “disaster” for the first events no matter what, and may get better over time as both officials and stadium-goers adjust. For at least the first several weeks, the city will have a contingent of police officers and Public Works department staff members at key intersections.

City officials said two periods of baseball-related traffic concerns are May 25, when one of two weekday games could come at the same time schools are letting out, and the month of June, when the Braves play 17 home games, their busiest home month of the season.

The city has several ideas for traffic fixes, though none can now be done in time for the stadium’s opening. One idea is turning the I-285 shoulder into a temporary travel lane for shuttle buses. Assistant City Manager Bryant Poole told the council that an early estimate from the Georgia Department of Transportation is that plan would cost about $8 million, as it could require some retaining walls and widening the bridge over the Chattahoochee River.

City officials also said they are doing before-and-after traffic counts on many neighborhood streets so they can measure actual stadium-related impacts. Poole noted that local traffic can become strangled by many causes, such as wrecks or other events.

“It’s very easy for us to say, ‘The Braves or Billy Joel created that,’” when something else might be the real cause, Poole said.

That data will inform the traffic management strategy. It may also be the basis of the city eventually asking the Braves for some reimbursements of its traffic-management costs, Poole said in response to questions from Councilmember Tibby DeJulio.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

4 replies on “Another SunTrust concert coming as Sandy Springs braces for traffic”

  1. “… a disaster” .Add the City Springs building, the 400/285 rebuild and all the other developments in the area ( e.g. Abernathy)sounds like a fun time in the formerly great “city” of Sandy Springs. I just hope the developers are stuck in traffic also. Thanks Mayor Paul, a man steeped in Urban planning…..

  2. Hmm, I had a dream last night. (BHM)
    A vision of a broader transportation future.

    Marta trains run from the airport to the south to Sandy Springs in the North.
    Light Rail would complete the circuit from SS Marta using Abernathy to Johnson Ferry, turn down Columns Dr. (sorry public company execs and Atlanta Country Club peeps this is transportation needs as a result of your existence only if corporate tax breaks and citizens paying for your infrastructure) end at Windy Hill. Cobb County takes cars of connecting to Stadium.

    That light rail connection gets you, people working/living at Perimeter and wanting to attend the option of leaving the car and getting on light rail. #healthy
    Anyone along the Marta route from South, Midtown or elsewhere can get to stadium without a car. People from Northern areas can come down 400 and stop at SS Marta avoiding 285 plus 285/75 all together and probably get there as quick with less stress relieving congestion on the Perimeter. Just another reason why Marta to the North is needed.

    Millennial’s aren’t buying pickup trucks, they buy small cars. Boomers are getting to the point of needing assistance by the time any real change is completed plus that is a lot of big cars off the road. Don’t forget the majority of Boomers can’t afford to stop working nor big expensive cars to get to the job. They’ll need close to home work and transportation.

    Think big to big problems. The answers not just a toll lane nor a bridge over Roswell Rd.

  3. Scooter Boy — please run for city council. Elections are in November but you’d need to start organizing soon for a shot to win as an outsider.

  4. Gary, thanks but I’ve decided to move to a real city, with public transportation, getting rid of the cars.

    IF a Republican member of Congress from the state of Georgia intervened to help University’s with Trump Travel Ban issues, I would have been surprised. IF red lines when it comes to housing, transportation and social issues where erased. IF I didn’t hear so many racist white native Georgians spewing hatred. IF the gun law was undone and at least law enforcement given a chance to ask if they have a permit for the carry weapon. IF local schools would unlock the gates and allow it to be a public gathering place where families could play with children. IF SNOB (slightly north of buckhead) was only a failed restaurant and not a state of mind by many in leadership.

    Until I leave I’ll keep up the commentary and there should be enough for someone to use and battle the “learn as they go” minions of our Private Company Overlords and failing career politicians like ole Rusty.

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