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The Music Scene

Posted: 2:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4, 2014

Midtown Neighbors Association concerned about Music Midtown traffic 

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Akili-Casundria Ramsess/Special to the AJC
Fans hanging out at last year's Music Midtown.

By Melissa Ruggieri

The Midtown Neighbors Association last week voted down the Music Midtown 2014 event plan and application because of concerns about plans for traffic flow during the event at Piedmont Park.

“All traffic is proposed to be diverted off 10th Street and detoured onto 8th St. and Myrtle St. for the two-day event. This means that traffic for an anticipated quarter of a million people will be directed right past your house on that weekend,” wrote an association member in the Nextdoor – Midtown East online network.

The capacity of Piedmont Park during the two-day Music Midtown festival (Sept. 19-20) is around 60,000 each day, so it is unclear where the “quarter of a million people” figure originated (the post cites the AJC as the source of that figure, but my story about last year’s and this year’s Music Midtown never indicated a number beyond 60,000 per day).

The event’s promoter, Live Nation, says it has no control over traffic and otherwise does everything it can to support the neighborhood.

“We tell the police the event we’re planning and they tell us what the traffic plan will be,” said Peter Conlon, president of Live Nation Atlanta. “I’m sorry we can’t please everyone. If I could make this work, I would, but I have no control over this.”

Conlon added that about 85 percent of attendees take MARTA to Music Midtown.

A Midtown Neighborhood Association Request form indicates that Live Nation has agreed to all of the association’s requests, including sound checks not starting before 10 a.m., increased availability of bike racks and access to parking in residential areas being limited to residents only.

(And good news, the portable toilet allotment will be increased from 200 to 350!)

Even if the association votes down an event plan, that doesn’t mean Music Midtown won’t proceed as scheduled – just that it won’t have the full support of residents. A similar situtaion occurred with the annual Atlanta Jazz Festival.

“We would like the support of the neighbors,” Conlon said. “We do everything we can do (to support them)… I promise you we have a lot of people who buy tickets in that area.”

Residents in the park neighborhood can voice their opinions at a meeting being held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Peachtree Christian Church (1580 Peachtree St. N.E.).

Melissa Ruggieri

About Melissa Ruggieri

Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers music and entertainment news for Atlanta Music Scene blog on ajc.

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