Kirkwood residents seek response from City of Atlanta about Pullman Yards traffic, noise, safety concerns

Pullman Yards in Kirkwood. (Courtesy of Pullman Yards)

Members of the Kirkwood Neighbors Organization (KNO) voted on Wednesday to send a letter to Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and City Councilmember Liliana Bakhtiari outlining community concerns about traffic, noise and safety during large events at Pratt-Pullman Yards.

KNO initially reached out with questions in a letter from May 2022, but residents felt they didn’t receive adequate answers. Now, with Sweetwater 420 Fest less than two weeks away, KNO is requesting a response from the city this week.

“This is not a new concern. This is an ongoing concern,” Nicole Kibert Basler, chair of the KNO zoning committee, said during the neighborhood’s monthly meeting on Wednesday night. “No one is listening. And now, with the success of the Balloon Museum and the bigger events that they’re starting to have here, we just can’t continue to accept nonresponsive responses. We have to have some action.”

Basler noted that with the Atlanta Department of Watershed Management (DWM) currently installing a new sewer line on Rogers Street NE, congestion in the area is creating a dangerous situation.

Nic Cappon from Bakhtiari’s office echoed what Patrick Husbands shared last month at the KNO meeting: The councilmember has exhausted all legislative options.

“We have almost spent more time convening with folks on this particular topic than we did on Cop City. This has been a painstaking process,” Cappon said. “Frankly, there are no legislative fixes. This is an administrative thing.”

Changing codes or laws around parking, for example, would not impact what the venue is able to do, he said, encouraging residents to reach out to the Mayor’s office about this issue.

“The recent pressure campaign from the neighborhood has proven very effective,” he said. “I strongly request that we give [the Mayor] the opportunity to bring some solutions to bear.”

Cappon met with the Atlanta Department of Transportation (DOT) and Pullman Yards management on Thursday to discuss traffic and safety measures. For Sweetwater 420 Fest, the festival will have EMS on site, 13 parking attendants and eight off-duty officers for crowd and traffic control, he told Decaturish. The venue is also providing additional parking at 200 Arizona Ave NE, Floor & Decor on Memorial Drive and Burgess-Peterson Elementary School, he said.

Community members discussed avenues for legal action against Pullman Yards as a next step if city officials fail to address their concerns.

This story was provided by WABE content partner Decaturish.