Opening Day at the new Braves stadium on April 14 brought lighter-than-usual traffic to Sandy Springs, following months of fears about “nightmare” congestion.

Traffic heading west on the Perimeter toward the new SunTrust Park in the distance from Sandy Springs’ New Northside Drive interchange was lighter than a Friday rush hour norm. This photo was taken around 6 p.m., 90 minutes before game time. (Phil Mosier)

Whether that was due to the baseball team’s planning brilliance for SunTrust Park or to those fears simply scaring everyone else away from Cobb County remains to be seen as games become part of rush-hour life next week and in months to come.

Stationed on Powers Ferry Road at Northside Drive, Sandy Springs Police Officer Tim Taylor spent most of his time near his cruiser, not directing the light traffic. (Phil Mosier)

At the interchange of Northside Drive and I-285 in Powers Ferry Landing, where the city feared the worst impacts, Sandy Springs Police Officers Leon Millholland and Tim Taylor had little to do besides eye the passing cars. About 90 minutes before the game, they had no need to direct traffic.

Sandy Springs Police Officer Leon Millholland said traffic was lighter than usual–and than expected. (Phil Mosier)

“The traffic this evening is lighter than usual,” Millholland said. “We were expecting more congestion than is here.”

Starting with a March 31 exhibition game, the city had set out temporary signs to direct stadium-goers through the complicated intersections knotted around the Perimeter. City social media posts showed light vehicle volumes displayed in the traffic camera system center at City Hall. The city is also conducting traffic counts on game days and non-game-days at 39 intersections to determine long-term traffic impacts and any necessary solutions.

–John Ruch and Phil Mosier

John Ruch

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