Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Atlanta

Suburban Cobb County Leader Fears Rail From Atlanta to New Braves Stadium

When the Atlanta Braves announced their decision to move their stadium from downtown Atlanta to a highway nexus in suburban Cobb County this week, they cited transportation problems as part of the impetus. But it wasn't long before everyone started wondering if the new site, only marginally connected to the region's transit system, could actually handle the additional traffic on game days.

Why can't Atlanta get unstuck? Image: ##http://smyrna.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/cobb-dot-prepares-for-braves-relocation## Smyrna Patch##
Why can't Atlanta get unstuck? Image: ##http://smyrna.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/cobb-dot-prepares-for-braves-relocation##Smyrna Patch##
Why can't Atlanta get unstuck? Image: ##http://smyrna.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/cobb-dot-prepares-for-braves-relocation## Smyrna Patch##

A major transit upgrade had been proposed for the Cumberland Mall area, where the new stadium will be located, but that project isn't on the table anymore. It was part of a transportation tax package that voters in the Atlanta region -- particularly suburban voters -- struck down just last year.

Now Joe Dendy, chairman of the county’s Republican Party, has revealed perhaps more about his attitudes regarding various modes of transportation -- and the people who ride them -- than he actually meant to. In a statement about the Braves' move to Cobb County, he said:

It is absolutely necessary the (transportation) solution is all about moving cars in and around Cobb and surrounding counties from our north and east where most Braves fans travel from, and not moving people into Cobb by rail from Atlanta. [Emphasis ours]

The Atlanta Journal Constitution's Jay Bookman heard an unuttered "those" before the word "people." He says Dendy's statement explains a lot about Atlanta:

That's from the chairman of the Republican Party in the state's wealthiest, most sophisticated GOP stronghold. If you want to know why the Atlanta region has trouble acting and thinking like a region, why we have abandoned mass transit options that every other major urban area in the country is pursuing, and why we have forfeited the economic dynamism that once made this city/region the envy of much of the nation, there you have it.

In the 2001 book, "Atlanta: Race, Class and Urban Expansion," Georgia Tech Professor Larry Keating argues that sprawling development patterns and meager transit investment in the Atlanta region has historically served to promote and reinforce racial segregation.

There may be a certain poetic justice in how this all plays out. Downtown Atlanta could very well be better off with something besides a gigantic sports stadium on the Turner Field site, while the Braves have chosen a future that apparently condemns all their fans to sitting in traffic, and Cobb County will be shelling out big bucks to make it happen.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Delivery Worker Minimum Wage Shows Promise … For Some, Data Shows

New data from New York City's Department of Consumer and Worker Protection shows minimum wage is bringing order to a previously wild industry.

July 15, 2024

Monday’s Headlines Go Through Basic Training

An NYU study looks into why the U.S. is lagging behind on high-speed rail, and one transportation expert ponders the impact on growth.

July 15, 2024

Sustainable Transportation Advocates Need to Talk About Sustainable Urban Design

A new book hopes to act as a "magic decoder ring" to our built environment — and a powerful tool to understand how sustainable transportation networks can fit within them.

July 15, 2024

Long Beach Leads in Traffic Circles

Traffic circles aren't quite ubiquitous in Long Beach, but they're around. Riding and walking through the city one encounters circles in neighborhoods rich and poor, new and old.

July 12, 2024

Friday’s Headlines Take Me to the River

Politico reports that the Biden administration is investing $2.5 billion in updating aging Mississippi River locks and dams like this one in Iowa. Transporting freight by barge produces less emissions than trucks or even rail.

July 12, 2024
See all posts