MARIETTA, GA – A state agency has told Cobb County and the Atlanta Braves that some changes need to be made to the plan for a new $600-million baseball stadium to make the area more pedestrian friendly.
GRTA, the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, has made several recommendations, including better pedestrian access on local roads, better traffic signal coordination, transit shuttles and more signs on interstate exit ramps.
"There'll be a lot of people walking around the stadium during Braves games, obviously, and there will be traffic impacts caused by the Braves development, just like there would be with any kind of development," GRTA Acting Executive Director Kirk Fjelstul told 11Alive on Wednesday.
Cobb County officials, who have been meeting with GRTA staff, said they will take the suggestions to heart.
"We agree with GRTA and the recommendations," Cobb County spokesman Robert Quigley told 11Alive.
"Certainly our professional staff's been working with theirs and it's basically a team effort because we want to make sure what we bring here will meet everybody's needs," he added.
One of GRTA's concerns is a promise by Cobb and the Braves for a new pedestrian bridge over I-285 that would link the stadium area to the Cumberland Galleria area.
Cobb said the bridge is still on the table, but details are sketchy at this point.
"The pedestrian bridge certainly is one of the things that we're seriously considering," said Quigley, "but there's been no definitive plans yet on where it begins, where it ends, what's it's gonna look like."
Both sides say they will meet often over the next week before GRTA hands down a final decision on the stadium traffic plan June 18.
GRTA's opinion is not binding, but ignoring it could mean Cobb might have trouble getting state funding on future projects.
The new Braves stadium is set to be completed before the beginning of the 2017 baseball season.