Implement travel demand management and ITS strategies to successfully reduce congestion and delay during special events.
Phoenix International Raceway's experience with TDM strategies.
To assist travelers, the PIR Special Event Traffic Management System has been developed, providing detailed route information, color-coded routes, and parking maps in the Guest Guide, which can be downloaded from PIR's Web site.
To help reduce congestion, traffic is directed to one of eight routes depending on the direction from which the motorists are traveling. While this may result in traffic spending more time on arterial routes, it reduces the demand at the choke points of the interstate and local highways. Traffic is also directed to park and ride lots with information posted on the official Web site, in the parking and facilities guide, through Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) and the media, and on variable message signs near the raceway.
The PIR has benefited substantially from their aggressive use of TDM and ITS. Lessons learned from the PIR special event management are presented below.
- Reduce congestion and delay by using TDM and ITS strategies. Pre-event informational campaigns are used to provide patrons with transportation information, including:
- Specific routes to reach the raceway and the park and ride lots
- Detailed Web site and newsletter reinforcing those particular routes
- Telephone numbers for additional information on park and ride lots
- Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) with special race driver recorded messages to encourage use of the system.
Evidence suggests that the TDM and ITS strategies worked to reduce congestion and delay. Using vehicle detectors to monitor the impact of their efforts, agencies were able to document a reduction in average travel time between Phoenix and the PIR raceway from approximately 2 to 3 hours in 1998 to less than 30 minutes in 2000. In addition, parking lots in 1998 took an average of 5.5 hours to clear and, in 2000, that time was reduced to 3.5 hours on average. These improvements were documented over the three race seasons despite an increase in traffic volumes from 85,744 to 133,185 vehicles.
- Increase customer satisfaction by managing traffic and providing good traveler information. The public appreciated the PIR special event management system's effort to effectively manage traffic during special events. The NCHRP report noted that typically there were 300 instances of negative feedback prior to the implementation of the special event planning management, and, with implementation of the new strategies, 200 positive instances of feedback were received.
Author: Jodi L. Carson and Ryan G. Bylsma of Montana State University
Published By: National Cooperative Highway Research Program - Transportation Research Board
Source Date: 2003URL: http://gulliver.trb.org/publications/nchrp/nchrp_syn_309a.pdf#search='NCHRP%20309%20Transportation%20Planning%20and%20Management%20for%20Special%20Events
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