Sunday, July 26, 2009
Looking at the Atlanta Dream Directions Page and the Atlanta Dream Alternate Directions Page, it looks like there has been some thought put into how to tell people to actually get to the game.
I think, however, that the instructions can be fleshed out a little bit more. Written instructions can't tell you everything you really need to know. For example, I come to the games down I-85N, and the instructions, such as they are, are exactly right. You take the 248C Williams Street Exit, you turn right on Baker Street and then you turn left on Centennial Olympic Parkway. After you pass Marietta Street, Philips Arena is on your left.
These facts, stated above, are correct. However, there are a few things that the instructions don't tell you.
* They don't tell you how far it is from 248C to Baker Street. It's about five or six blocks. You'll want to be in the far right lane when you finally get to Baker Street.
* Furthermore, when you hit Baker Street you pretty much have to turn right. I don't think you can go straight ahead when you hit Baker.
* When you turn right on Baker...there's not much of Baker left. Just a small lane essentially that "T"s out to Centennial Olympic Parkway, where you can only turn left or right. (Hint: Turn left at the "T".)
* Centennial Parkway tends to curve a bit. You'll cross Marietta Street - it won't be long till you get there, and the signage is clear. One thing you have to think about is that downtown Atlanta has a lot of tourists, who will be trying to cross the street exactly when the light turns green.
* That parking isn't free. Some places near Philips Arena charge $10 for it. Myself, I turn right on Marietta and then left on Park Avenue to go under Philips Area, bending around and ending up in an area called "The Pit", where parking is $5. Keep left whenever you can, and you'll get there.
* If you get lost, can you find your way back? Good question. I don't know what the signage is like to Philips Arena.
They also don't tell you that traffic on days where gametime is 7:30 pm can be tricky. You want to leave early, because Atlanta downtown traffic can be heavy. On the other hand, you don't want to get there too early, because the Arena doesn't open its doors until 30 minutes before tipoff.
If, as readers of this blog, you have
* experiences of your own
* alternate instructions (South I-85, West and East I-20, or MARTA instructions)
* recommendations for parking
* tricky things to watch out for
...then I'd love to read about them. As fans, how can we make the "getting to Philips Arena" experience as quick and as painless as possible for potential new fans?