Chapter Five. Event Operations
Page 4 of 4
External Factors Affecting Scope of Event Impact
This chapter summarizes event operations planning and impact analysis
activities that address the core factors affecting planned special event
severity. That is, travel demand, road/site capacity, and event
operation. A number of secondary factors warrant consideration in
the event operations phase, including:
- Available resources
- Concurrent roadway construction
- Concurrent planned special events
These factors can greatly influence the level of impact a planned special
event has on transportation system operations. By gaining an understanding
of the special challenges that these external factors present, the event
planning team can develop appropriate contingency response plans, using
the tools and strategies presented in Chapters 6 and 7, to mitigate infrequent
but high-impact scenarios.
An assessment of the level of impact that an external factor has on travel
during a particular planned special event involves the consideration of
the following components:
- Duration – temporal impact (e.g., when does the external factor
impact operations and for how long?).
- Extent – spatial impact or scope of area affected (e.g., does
the external factor impact a particular corridor or the entire region?)
- Intensity – volume of impact (e.g., how severe is the impact?)
Practitioners should express the impact of an external factor in terms
of how it affects travel demand, road/site capacity, and personnel/equipment
resource quantities. Feasibility study input data can reflect adjustments
made due to certain anticipated external factors, or practitioners can
rerun parking and roadway capacity analyses to account for a new unexpected
factor (e.g., occurrence of emergency road construction). In turn, revised
results may warrant adjustments to the event traffic management plan.
Figure 5-15. Stadium Reconstruction
Available resources refer to the quantity and experience of personnel
and equipment available to plan and conduct day-of-event travel management
operations. Besides the size of a planned special event, the level of
required resources depend on time/place of occurrence, other planned special
events, and equipment status.
A special factor that may place significant strain on available resources
involves the occurrence of planned special events at a venue under reconstruction.
Shown in Figure 5-15, venue reconstruction places additional demand on
the amount of traffic management team personnel and equipment resources
needed to manage events hosted by the venue during its reconstruction.
Stakeholder response to on-site parking restrictions include redevelopment
of traffic management plans to accommodate parking demand, pedestrian
access, and traffic flow in the immediate vicinity of the venue.
Figure 5-16 presents a site and pedestrian accommodation plan for 2002
Green Bay Packers games during Lambeau Field renovation. Appendix F contains
contingency parking and pedestrian accommodation plans for event patrons
traveling to Lambeau Field.
Figure 5-16. Site and Pedestrian Accommodation Plan
for Stadium Reconstruction
Figure 5-17. Contingency Parking Plan for Weather
Weather conditions affect travel demand, road/site capacity, or both.
For example, in winter, snow banks in permanent venue parking areas reduce
the number of on-site parking spaces required for an event sell-out. Rain
can create significant problems for unpaved parking areas and access roads.
A one-day rain event totaling approximately 0.70 inches during the 2002
U.S. Golf Open forced the traffic management team to close all unpaved
parking areas adjacent to the golf course. Figure 5-17 displays a traffic
advisory service television announcement issued to indicate contingency
parking arrangements that used paved lots.
With regard to travel demand, weather conditions have a significant impact
on attendance (e.g., increased attendance or reduced attendance) and/or
the rate of arrivals and departures at some special events. For instance,
event patrons will attend an event at a domed stadium on a rainy day,
but patrons will bypass arriving at the venue early to tailgate, thus
concentrating patron arrivals.
Concurrent Road Construction and Planned Special Events
The occurrence of planned events, including road construction and other
planned special events, create a range of impacts affecting different
traffic management plan components. On a regional level, the characteristics
(e.g., increased traffic demand, road/lane closures) of concurrent planned
events reduce available capacity in roadway corridors serving a particular
planned special event, thus affecting traffic flow patterns. Local impacts
include reduced parking supply, in the event of other area planned special
events, and restricted traffic circulation.
The identification of concurrent planned events requires interagency
communication at the local, county, and state level. Figure 5-18 illustrates
an example of a local department of public works (DPW) inventory, accessible
through the DPW website, of active local road construction and other planned
special events within the jurisdiction.
Figure 5-18. Internet Summary of Road Construction
and Planned Special Events (Graphic courtesy of the City of Milwaukee
Key considerations include:
- With regard to planning for a specific planned special event, the
event planning team should identify road construction activities in
all jurisdictions within a certain travel time or distance radius, equivalent
to the event market area, of the event venue. Appendix G contains a
local stakeholder outreach letter pre pared by the Wisconsin DOT to
identify local road construction in the vicinity of Miller Park and
scheduled during the 2002 All-Star baseball game.
- The event planning team must also interact with area venue operators
and determine a timeline of planned special events in the region, particularly
those affecting the transportation system serving the subject planned
- Recognizing the regional impacts (e.g., county and multi-county) of
major planned special events, the event planning team should obtain
information, including attendance estimates, on planned special events
occurring in other metropolitan areas and areas with large venues within
a certain radius (e.g., 50 or 100 miles). Highway corridors traversing
one jurisdiction can realize a significant increase in background traffic
during typical off-peak periods as a result of traffic generated by
major events occurring in other jurisdictions.
External Factor Monitoring and Assessment
The event planning team should maintain, and continually update, a spreadsheet
matrix or map of inter-jurisdictional roadway construction and planned
special events occurring over some defined period of time. For example,
Appendix G contains a Wisconsin DOT summary of local and state road construction
coupled with major planned special events occurring in the Milwaukee metropolitan
area over Summer 2002. Identification of concurrent planned events allows
stakeholders to merge transportation planning and operations efforts and
consider revising road construction schedules.
On a broader scale, a regional committee on planned special events monitors
planned events across a metropolitan area through regular meetings with
traffic operations agencies, law enforcement, community officials, event
organizers, and other agencies. The committee facilitates communication
and coordination between specific event planning and operation task forces
to ensure optimal application of personnel and equipment resources. The
Traffic Incident Management Enhancement (TIME) program in southeastern
Wisconsin maintains such a committee. As highlighted in Chapter 2, the
TIME special event committee proposed development of a traffic management
planning tool designed to evaluate the severity level of any planned special
event proposed in the greater Milwaukee metropolitan area. Table 5-19
lists specific external factors, and associated criteria, accounted for
in the draft planning tool.
Table 5-19a. External Factors Considered in the Wisconsin TIME Program
Special Event Planning Tool: Construction(25)
|Question: What is the effect of construction on traffic?
|Is there a construction project on any of the corridors leading
to or away from the special event venue?
|Are there any lane closures?
Table 5-19b. External Factors Considered in the Wisconsin TIME Program
Special Event Planning Tool: Scheduling(25)
|Question: What effect does the event scheduling have on traffic?
|Is the event scheduled to begin or end during a peak period?
|Is there more than one event beginning or ending at the same time?
Table 5-19c. External Factors Considered in the Wisconsin TIME Program
Special Event Planning Tool: Weather(25)
|Question: What are the weather conditions?
|Is there a forecast for severe weather before, during, or after
the special event that might affect traffic?
Table 5-19d. External Factors Considered in the Wisconsin TIME Program
Special Event Planning Tool: Resources(25)
|Question: Are all human resources available?
|Is the event scheduled to begin and end during normal working hours?
|Are key individuals available if needed?
Table 5-19e. External Factors Considered in the Wisconsin TIME Program
Special Event Planning Tool: Equipment(25)
|Question: Is all equipment available?
|Are all facilities available?
|Is communication equipment working?
|Is all traffic control equipment available?
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