News Briefs: MBS goes cashless; Memorial Drive reversible lanes; Buckhead annexation chatter

Mercedes-Benz Stadium has announced it will become a fully cashless operation starting with the Atlanta United season opener on March 10. Only debit and credit cards or mobile payments (such as Apple Pay) will be accepted at concession and souvenir stands. For those without cards, kiosks will be available on each level of MBS where you can load cash onto a pre-paid VISA card. Unused balances on the cards can be spent outside the stadium anywhere cards are accepted. The move to cashless, designed to speed up wait times, is tied to MBS’s announcement that it will lower prices by 50 cents on its most popular food items including hot dogs, hamburgers, pretzel bites, waffle cones and chips & salsa.

New mixed-use developments, apartments and townhomes are being built at a rapid rate along Memorial Drive. (Photo by Collin Kelley)

Curbed Atlanta reports that the Georgia Department of Transportation plans to remove four miles of reversible lanes on Memorial Drive – between Pearl Street and Candler Road – to help improve traffic flow. Work will begin this month and the GDOT also plans to resurface the stretch of roadway. Read more about the revitalization of Memorial Drive in this month’s issue of INtown or at this link.

Could Buckhead be annexed into the city of Sandy Springs? The idea has become a topic of neighborhood chatter as a spinoff of longstanding talk of Buckhead becoming its own city. Mary Norwood, chair of the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods, says she would neither lead nor oppose such a move. But Sandy Springs official say annexation would be difficult and they’re not especially interested. Sandy Springs City Councilmember Andy Bauman, who represents part of his city bordering the Chastain Park area, is among those who has seen Buckhead annexation chatter on the Nextdoor social media app. The notion of Buckhead breaking off from Atlanta and becoming its own city has been floated for over a decade amid concerns about the neighborhood not getting enough city services and in debates fraught with overtones of race and class. Read more about this story at Reporter Newspapers.

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