ATLANTA - The Atlanta Braves unveiled their latest plan to deal with traffic and parking at SunTrust Park. They emphasized smartphone apps, including a new Braves app that will help fans find routes and parking spaces.
Much of managing traffic will also be about managing fan expectations.
There are at least two new parking garages right next to SunTrust Park, and surface lots on private property adjacent. But many Braves fans will park in places like the lot of a Marriott hotel stretching nearly a mile away from the ballpark.
It's a space the Braves are including as part of their parking footprint. The Braves view the scattered lots as a plus at their new ballpark.
"Here there’s lots that are distributed 360 degrees around SunTrust park. There’s a number of different options getting you in and out of here," said Derek Schiller, president of the Atlanta Braves. Schiller said it contrasts favorably with the lots mostly bunched together north of Turner Field.
The road to SunTrust Park on game days remains a work-in-progress, but the Braves say they’re confident they can prove wrong the region’s traffic doomsayers.
The Braves say their scattered lots will be easy to access. The Braves plan free shuttles from those parking lots. The Braves are also placing heavy emphasis on using rideshare services like Uber – and emphasizing using a new smartphone app that will give up to date traffic and parking info.
Meantime, the team and Cobb County are counting on much of the road and pedestrian walkway construction now surrounding the ballpark to be done by opening day in April.
Cobb County says some road lanes will be reversed for game day traffic, and that game day management of signals at thirty key intersections will also ease traffic flow.
"I think the local population, the folks commuting back and forth to work, I think it’s going to be better. Because all the stuff will start doing what it’s designed to do," said Cobb Co. commissioner Bob Ott.
The Braves say they are in talks to provide shuttle bus service from a variety of places around metro Atlanta – but it’s too soon to announce them.