Managing Travel for Planned Special Events: First National Conference Proceedings
BREAKOUT SESSIONS — EVENT-SPECIFIC OPERATIONS PLANNING
Les Jacobson, PB Farradyne, Presiding
Getting the Word Out: Communicating with the Public and Media
Dana Newsome discussed key elements to effective communication with the public and media on traffic management for planned special events. She described recent projects in Louisiana and Florida. She highlighted key elements in developing a message, formulating a plan, and delivering the message. She also discussed media interviewing, connecting with your audience, and conducting evaluations.
Recent projects in Louisiana and Florida focused on developing communication plans for special events and major transportation improvement programs. Examples of special events include college football games and stockcar races.
It is important to develop the message to be communicated. Develop a communications plan based on the answers to these questions.
What do you need to tell?
Who is affected most?
Why does anyone care?
Where is it happening?
When will it take place?
Formulating a communications plan should include the following steps. First, identify the audiences, schedules, and time frames. Next formulate the key messages. Third, develop a plan with contingencies and evaluate resources, including in-house versus outsourcing. Finally, assign responsibilities for the different tasks. It is important to keep one voice and one message throughout the process.
Delivering the message also includes a number of activities. First, identify the appropriate media to reach the target audiences. Second, form relationships with the media and other key groups. Third, send well-written press releases to the media contacts. Use the Associate Press writing style and be sure the releases are written for the targeted audience. For example, different styles should be used for radio and print media. Be sure to follow-up with media contacts and secure interviews. Finally, monitor media coverage for results.
It is important to rehearse if you are going to be interviewed and to know what you need to say. Develop key messages and repeat them. Speak in quotes and use plain language, not technical jargon. Do not repeat negative questions and statements, but, if you have bad news, say it first.
It is important to connect with your audience. Connect on their level by taking the message to them. Be creative in your message and utilize your resources. Take advantage of captive audiences. Ask and you may be surprised what you can accomplish.
It is important to evaluate your efforts. Tracking media coverage and polling the audience after an event provides useful information. You can also ask for suggestions on improvements. Develop a list of lessons learned to help with future planning.
In conclusion, effective communication starts with deciding on your message. Develop a plan and stick to it. Utilize the media and find creative ways to reach your audience. Finally, evaluate what you did and use the results to enhance future efforts.
Planning and Operations for Special Events in Washington, D.C. — WWII Memorial Dedication and the Funeral of President Ronald Reagan
Department of Transportation, District of Columbia
Craig Baldwin discussed the transportation planning and operations for two recent special events in Washington, D.C. The first special event was the dedication of the National World War II Memorial and the second was the funeral of President Ronald Reagan.
The Mayor's Special Events Task Group (MSETG) is comprised of 35 member agencies. The Task Group meets to review special event requests and to coordinate traffic management during events. The five major participating agencies are the Emergency Management Agency (EMA), District Department of Transportation (DDOT), the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), the Fire and EMS Department, and Metro Transit. Other local, state, and federal agencies also participated. The ETG reviews over 200 requests per year. Approximately 95 percent of events are approved and conducted.
The DDOT plays a number of roles related to special events in the District. First, DDOT reviews the impact of the street closure requests. These requests include some 550 neighborhood events, some 200 special events, and 6,000 emergency no parking sign requests. These requests are reviewed for possible impacts on sidewalks, roadways, and physical assets. The impact on parking is also reviewed. Parking may impact tourism, residents, commuters, and businesses.
Street closure request requirements include the following items:
- A completed application filed within 15 business days of the date of the event with a copy of the site plan and event route.
- A consent list consisting of original signatures, addresses, and telephone numbers of no less than 90 percent of the resident housekeepers and occupants of business and other establishments within a distance of 500 feet from the perimeter of the location where the event is to occur. (Photocopies or fax copies will not be accepted.)
- Cessation of activities no later than 10:00 p.m.
- Designation of a contact person, associated with the event, who has decision-making authority. This person is to be continuously available to appropriate law enforcement personnel present at the event.
- Posting of street closure signs no less than 72 hours prior to the date of the event.
- Accessibility to emergency equipment at all times via a dedicated and unobstructed 20-foot emergency access lane.
- Use of only readily removable barricades.
- Removal of all debris and trash within a period of 12 hours after the conclusion of the activities.
Planning for the World War II Memorial dedication and the Ronald Reagan funeral were very different. The World War II Memorial dedication was a non-National Special Security Event (NSSE). There was a seven-month lead time. There were eight venue locations, with 106,000 ticketed attendees and over 100,000 non-ticketed attendees. There were multiple protectees. Parking was an issue and extensive no parking zones were used. There were few changes to the plan.
The Ronald Reagan funeral was an NSSE event, planned on short notice. The funeral covered three locations and was open to the public. There were multiple protectees. Extensive no parking zones were used. The event changed as family wishes were made known. Planners also had to deal with protesters at the National Cathedral.
The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) first presentation to MSETG was in November 2003. MSETG created subcommittees to address security, transportation and street closings, first aid and emergency services, public relations and communication, site planning, and sales and concessions.
DDOT staff from many different divisions were involved in the planning activities. These included members of the DDOT Special Events Team, the Curbside Management Division, the Public Space Permitting Division, the Street and Bridge Maintenance Division, and the Sign Systems and Street Light Division. Staff from the Work Zone Public Safety Branch and the Roadway Operations Patrol Branch were also involved.
The Transportation and Street Closing Subcommittee undertook a number of activities. A review was completed of venue areas. Load in and out locations were assigned. Truck routes for support vehicles were assigned, along with loading times. The security plan entrance and exit locations were also reviewed. The ABMC requests for street closures were evaluated for their impact on the city. The street closure requests were also evaluated against the overall security and medical plans. The subcommittee recommended alternatives, gave approvals, and coordinated closure times.
The subcommittee determined variable message sign (VMS) locations. Parking requests were reviewed and approved. Once negotiated and approved, all signs had to be made by hand. Fees for lost revenue on meters used by organizers were also assessed. The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) parking areas were also identified. RFK stadium was designed as a bus staging area.
A bus route plan was developed for the event day. The best possible ingress and egress routes for attendees were identified, and bus pick-up and drop-off locations were assigned. Ingress and egress for the RFK parking area was designed. Shuttles for additional services were identified. The best water, medical, and bathroom locations at RFK were determined.
Other tasks included determining street closure times in conjunction with local law enforcement. Communication updates were provided to all transportation agencies and highway advisory radios (HARs). Hotel and Metrorail shuttle plans at designated sites were established, as were shuttle drop-off and pick-up locations at venues. Way finding sign locations were reviewed. An hour-by-hour action plan was developed.
The subcommittee had to address of number of issues early in the planning process. Examples of some of these issues included media locations, and an evacuation plan, including shelter. Other issues included taxi fees, volunteers, vendors and vendor permits, signal timing alterations, communication between agencies, and security and law enforcement. There were also other events immediately after the event, including a parade. Funding was also an issue.
The ingress and egress plan included a number of elements. Tour buses dropped ticketed guests at RFK Stadium, where they boarded buses based on their assigned seating area. The buses had been swept by Metro Transit Police and MPD and each had a military representative onboard. Individuals were checked and boarded the correct buses. Groups of 19 buses were escorted under motorcade to their seating location on the Mall. The buses then returned to pickup another group as other buses were being filled and running the same route. Once the bus service was stopped all swept buses remained in the secure zone away from the venue until the dedication was over.
Tour buses and cars with non-ticketed guests also used RFK Stadium. Separate plans were developed for key dignitaries, with separate ingress, egress, and parking areas. Metro shuttles were allocated 25 spots per station with a specific ingress and egress plan.
Two mobile emergency operations centers (EOC) locations were used; one at RFK Stadium and the main EOC back-up at the Tidal Basin. These mobile locations were coordinated with the main EOC and other facilities.
The action plan for the World War II Memorial dedication included a number of elements. Communications for DDOT was established using encrypted 800 MHZ radios and Nextel radios. Four mobile special event units were dispatched to conduct traffic management and control. Three mobile curbside management units were dispatched. DDOT staff were located at each EOC.
Planning for the funeral of President Ronald Reagan was completed on a very short schedule. The EMA funeral logistics meeting was held at 4:30 p.m. on June 7, 2004. The official events started two days later on June 9. The official events included the funeral procession at 6:00 p.m., the state funeral ceremony and 7:00 p.m. and lying in state for 24 hours started at 8:30 p.m. on June 9. The national funeral service was held at 11:30 a.m. on June 11. Other elements included dress rehearsal plans, a plan of operation, health and medical plans, resource and logistical requirements, a transportation and traffic management plan, and a street closing plan. Other activities included establishing contact with MPD and the Secret Service on June 8. Plans were also being developed for vendor removal and stopping road construction and repair work.
A detour plan for the funeral procession had to be developed along with necessary street closures and detours. Similar plans had to be developed for the National Cathedral processional and the area around the National Cathedral. The critical staff plan used for the World War II Memorial was used. A signal plan and HAR message set were modeled after the approach used with the World War II Memorial dedication.
The EMA directors meeting at 2:00 p.m. on June 8 addressed the numerous elements of the transportation and traffic management plan. These elements included the enforcement for towing, a moratorium on construction from noon on June 9 to noon on June 10, repaving Waterside Drive for the National Cathedral processional, and a spot check on all routes and filling and repairing problem areas. Other topics discussed included the placing of U.S. and District of Columbia flags, staff uniforms, clean vehicles, and media situations. Signal pole removals and VMS were also discussed. Finally, the process for coordinating public information was agreed on. The coordination included the Reagan family, the Secret Service, the Executive Office of the Mayor, DDOT Directors Office, and the U.S. Park Police (USPP).
The meeting to address the Cathedral site focused on vehicle movements, the movements of key dignitaries, transportation flow, the needs of residents and schools, and overall security. The Reagan family needs included 23 buses for family and friends. Guests at the funeral included the Reagan family members, the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, six former Presidents and First Ladies, and 18 Foreign Heads of State.
A number of lessons were learned from planning and carrying out the traffic management and transportation plan for President Reagan's funeral. The first lesson is to be extremely flexible. The sign crews, repair crews, signal teams, and street closing teams worked extended hours over a three-day period. Second, assign someone as a recorder to document the time, money, and resources required for the event. More advanced notice of a possible funeral would have helped. The effort also points out the need for a dedicated special events office and the need to update special event requirements. Completing an after action report is also very beneficial, as is recording all activities that occurred during the planning and actual event. Keeping a record of the time spent in meetings, in planning, and on the event day also helps. Documenting event day equipment and resource needs, along with observations and suggestions from staff should also be done.
The National WWII Memorial Dedication Event — Planning Considerations and Lessons Learned
District of Columbia Department of Transportation
Jamie Quarrelles discussed transportation planning activities for the dedication of the National World War II Memorial in the District of Columbia. She provided an overview of transportation planning for special events in Washington, D.C. She described the planning, operation, and evaluation of the transportation elements of the World War II Memorial Dedication.
Transportation planning in the District of Columbia faces some unique challenges. The District government functions with elements of a city, county, and state with daily interaction with federal agencies, neighboring states, and regional entities. Numerous special events are held in the District. Examples of special events included the National WW II Memorial Dedication, state funerals, presidential inaugurations, the July 4th fireworks, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank protesters. Other unplanned events include snow storms, hurricanes, and government policy protests.
The District response plan is based on the incident command system (ICS). It has interoperability with the federal response plan (FRP). Regional and national coordination is key to managing traffic for special events in the District. The District coordinates with Maryland and Virginia. The District Response Plan (DRP) is coordinated with the FRP, the Virginia Emergency Operation Plan (EOP), and the Maryland EOP.
A number of issues had to be addressed in planning the traffic management strategies for the World War II Memorial Dedication. First, the event took place on both federal property and city property. Second, the unique needs, including health implications, of the attending population had to be considered, along with the movement of participants from bus staging areas around the Mall. Finally, safety and security measures had to be considered.
The National Park Service (NPS) was the lead in coordinating the dedication, in cooperation with the Secret Service. The District of Columbia Emergency Management Agency (DCEMA) coordinated meetings involving local agencies and examined the impact of the event on city streets. The National Park Police and NPS coordinated meetings with federal and local agencies. Two forward command points were created. One command point was for transportation and the other command point was for the dedication ceremony.
A number of keys to success can be identified from the experience with the World War II Memorial Dedication. First, establishing an event working group that includes representatives from all agencies is critical. In the case of the World War II Memorial Dedication, the working group included the Park Police, Secret Service, MPD, Transportation, Coast Guard, DHS, Public Works, Red Cross, Emergency Management, Fire and EMS, and other groups. Sub-committees were established to support different functional activities. Activating the DCEMA EOC was an important element, as was utilizing field command centers to support the EOC. Utilizing District and regional resources, including the Pentagon parking lot, the Red Cross, and regional ambulance services were also important.
The District of Columbia has updated its emergency management plan after the events of September 11, 2001. It is important to identify proactive actions, and to examine evacuation versus shelters in place of alternatives. The plan identifies outbound evacuation routes and event and evaluation route signing.
The Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) is a voluntary, non-governmental assessment process for state and local emergency managers to determine compliance with 54 EMAP Standards. The District is the first jurisdiction in the country to receive full EMAP accreditation, which occurred in September 2003. More information on the District response plan and other related activities is available at http://dcema.dc.gov.
TECHNICAL EXCHANGE SESSION
Simulation Applications in Planned Special Event Management
Sudheer Dhulipala and Gloria Bender
Sudheer Dhulipala and Gloria Bender participated in the Technical Exchange Session. Their display focused on simulation applications with planned special event management. The display covered the relevance of simulation, issues associated with simulating special events, and the Las Vegas International Airport Roadway Project and other case study examples.
Discrete-event simulation provides a virtual representation of a transportation facility, including the physical layout and operational rules. It provides realistic minute-by-minute demand showing individual entities – pedestrians or vehicles – traveling through the facility. The model produces both facility performance data and animation.
There are differences between discrete-event simulation and micro simulation. Micro simulation models, such as CORSIN and VISSIM, are flow-based models that analyze average demand versus capacity. Time steps are typically larger than a minute. A limitation with micro simulation is that is cannot predict maximums effectively and may fail to represent the impacts of surges in demand.
It is important to remember that modeling is a process, not an event. It is also important to involve key stakeholders in the modeling process and to review assumptions, preliminary findings, and final outputs with them.
Good practice requires that simulation models be validated. The objective of the validation process is to compare model outputs to real-life data. For systems that do not exist and thus do not have actual data, a face validation is performed. This process is based on expert review involving project stakeholders and uses the best available information. A face validation is usually combined with a verification process. The verification process uses historical data, observations, and other relevant information. It tests the model with single, unique entity types to confirm flow. It utilizes animation to confirm logical processes.
Simulation is a decision support tool. Elements typically included in using simulation include establishing a program, developing valid concepts, and illustrating new operations. Competing alternatives can be evaluated based on performance. Simulation can help integrate facilities and systems effectively.
Simulation can be used to help address some of the issues associated with planning transportation needs associated with special events. There is a need to capture the interactions of pedestrians and transportation modes with special events. Pedestrians crossing at-grade create delays that reduce exit roadway capacity. Good design examines ways to separate these flows. Developing realistic demand estimates is also important in planning for special events. The anticipated demand adds to the existing traffic volumes. There is also a need to accommodate surge flows, which create hot spots. Modeling can help quantify how bad and for how long the surges are to determine if another design is warranted. In emergency situations there is a need to quantify the time required to evacuate a site and to quantify the best method and impacts of mitigation strategies.
The Las Vegas International Airport provides a case study example of the use of discrete event simulation. Las Vegas International Airport is the fastest growing airport in the country. Additional roadway capacity is needed to meet the estimated future demand of 86,000 daily passengers. Additional interim capacity was achieved with a new garage and operational changes. Airport staff required an operational planning tool to manage traffic for special events, including championship prize fights. A simulation model was developed, which confirmed the performance of the new garage and roadway plan. Airport operations staff were able to use the model to develop strategies to accommodate special events and to assess capacity enhancement plans.
In summary, using simulation in the planning and design stages can help ensure a viable and successful approach that accommodates the demands of special events. Discrete-event simulation provides the fidelity required to ensure facilities serve the surged demand associated with special events. Discrete-event simulation models linked with micro-simulation traffic models capture facility dynamics as well as the interaction with urban arterial access networks. The methodology also provides a tool to develop and evaluate new security processes and life-safety issues associated with an evacuation.
Event Operations Planning for an Australasian V8 Supercar Street Race
Traffic Planning Consultants, Ltd., New Zealand
Steve Reddish participated in the Technical Exchange Session. His display focused on planning for a V8 Supercar street race in Auckland, New Zealand. It highlighted the importance in planning a street race involving road closures in a busy part of a large city and not underestimate the work needed to demonstrate that the city can continue functioning, affected businesses and residents can be accommodated, and people can be transported to and from the event.
Auckland is a city of approximately 1 million people spread over a wide area due to its rather unique topography of two harbors, an isthmus, and extinct volcanoes. Australasia has a very popular V8 Supercar series that is run on a variety of racing circuits and city streets. Each event runs three days. Practice and qualifying heats start on Friday and the V8 races and races in other supporting classes are held on Saturday and Sunday. The series is expanding into China.
The New Zealand leg of the series has previously been held on a racing circuit, but that circuit is now considered inadequate and substandard. The race organizers looked for a street circuit that met the following criteria:
- Circuit length 2.5-3.5km;
- Minimum track width of 12m;
- Pits and main straight width of 30m;
- Runoffs at corners;
- Large spectator viewing areas;
- Area for passive recreation;
- Access to passenger transport;
- Proximity to visitor accommodation;
- Population base; and
- Event infrastructure and experience.
Only one part of Auckland's street system met those criteria. The road closures needed for the circuit have the impact of cutting off a major access to the city from and to the northern suburbs. In addition there is only the one harbor crossing on the main north-south highway. The circuit, in effect takes out a significant portion of roads within the northwest quadrant of the central business district (CBD) restricting movement within and through the CBD.
From the outset, it was made clear to the organizers that successfully running the event would be predicated on getting a sufficient reduction in traffic to enable the road network and CBD to operate at a level of service comparable to a normal day. Determining the amount of traffic suppression that would be needed and how could it be achieved became the key questions to be answered.
Other issues included the impacts of setting up and dismantling the circuit over a total of some eight weeks, maintaining bus passenger transport operations, and providing access to businesses and residents. Traffic management measures were examined to keep the city functioning. Additional passenger transport services were also considered to support getting spectators to and from the downtown area. The need to meet parking demands was also an important consideration. Provisions for the safe movement of pedestrians walking to and from the circuit were examined. Contingency planning for incidents on the road network and the failure of TDM strategies to meet the minimum target was undertaken.
The initial planning phase included a number of activities. Traffic modeling at both the macro and micro level was conducted to assess the regional and the local level impacts. The analysis included the use of both existing regional and area models, plus new micro-simulation models for the CBD network operations. The models were adjusted to 2006, the year of the first race, and included spectator travel. The modeling was peer reviewed. Key outputs from the modeling process included the minimum level of traffic suppression needed to maintain the normal level of service on the network and the additional traffic management measures needed in critical locations to maintain the normal level of service.
A comprehensive survey of private vehicle drivers who may be affected by the event was conducted to explore behavioral intentions around the event. An assessment was made of spectator demand, trip distribution, and travel mode. Assessments were also made of the capacity of the passenger transport system – bus, ferry and train – to cope with modal shift arising from TDM and taking spectators to and from the event utilizing park-and-ride bus services, regional express bus services, supplementary mainline bus services, additional ferry services and shuttles to the ferries, and increased rail frequency.
The parking capacity in the CBD, at ferry terminals, and at proposed park-and-ride locations was assessed. Directly-affected parties were consulted to address their access needs. The potential impacts on directly-affected bus services were examined and alternative routes were developed. Principles used to guide this process included maintaining passenger transport coverage for users to the maximum extent possible, easing customer understanding, maintaining simplicity, schedule maintenance, cost control, and ease of implementation. Contingency plans were also developed. An assessment of non-traffic elements, such as economic impact and noise effects assessment was also conducted.
There was an election soon after this analysis was completed and the composition of the city council changed. The new city council wants to revisit supporting a street race in the city. In addition, appeals to the environment court will be needed to address concerns raised by groups opposed to the event. Assuming there are positive decisions from the city council and the environment court, we will conduct additional detailed work.
The detailed work would include construction management plans for the circuit, including traffic management during the build sequence. A communications strategy would also be developed for the TDM, passenger transport changes, getting to and from the event, access arrangements for affected parties, and dynamic traffic communications during the event, including Internet, radio, and VMS. A transportation plan related to TDM would be developed. Traffic management plans would be developed for those areas requiring adjustments to the existing street network operation during the event. An access plan for residents and businesses within the event area, including parking for affected properties, would be developed. An event transportation plan, including park-and-ride and spectator and pedestrian management, an incident response and emergency plan, and a monitoring plan would also be developed.
To effectively deliver the transport and traffic management plans and respond to issues as they arise, a traffic/transport operations group would be established, comprising representation from the key stakeholders. These stakeholders include traffic and roading authorities, police, and passenger transport operators. Issues that this group would address if situations arise requiring action include altering traffic signal controls, adjusting parking controls, operational changes at key intersections, responding to problems at park-and-ride sites, dealing with traffic congestion in the vicinity of the race precinct, and active enforcement of special parking controls.
CASE STUDY SESSION
John Exnicios, Urban Systems, Presiding
Planning for Operations, A Gold Medal Example
Utah Department of Transportation
David Kinnecom discussed planning and operating the transportation system for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. He provided an overview of the venues, the planning process, and operations during the games.
The Winter Olympic Games were held in Salt Lake City February 8 through 24, 2002. There were 160 athletic competition events and 20 non-athletic events. These events were held at five mountain venues and five city venues in Salt Lake City.
The games involved some 4,100 athletes and officials, 10,000 members of the media, and 2,000 Olympic family members. There were approximately 1.6 million spectators and a television audience of 3 billion. Some 20,000 staff and volunteers were involved in the different activities associated with the games.
The main venues included the Olympic Village, the Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium, the Main Media Center, the Olympic Medals Plaza, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Hotel, and the Salt Lake City Airport. Events were also held in Ogden, Park City, Heber City, and Provo.
The Olympics covered 17 days, with activities covering almost 18 hours a day. There were multiple events at the same time. There was a need to load, unload, and reload venues. Winter weather, especially snow and ice, had to be considered. Also needing consideration were non-competition venues and non-ticketed spectators.
Other factors potentially influencing the transportation system included the possibility of schedule changes and the impacts of security checkpoint closures. The number of international visitors unfamiliar with the transportation system in the U.S. also presented a challenge, as did mountain roads serving some venues with no alternative routes. Special transportation constituencies had to be addressed. There was also heightened media interest.
Traffic operations for the games included a number of elements. These elements included TDM, traffic control and signing contracts, the traffic operations center, traffic signal operations, incident management and service patrol, and venue teams.
The TDM goals focused on reducing background traffic by some 20 percent and shifting peak commute times by 1-to-2 hours. TDM measures were also aimed at reducing traffic at venues and reducing truck traffic.
The traffic control and signing contracts modeled and tested designs for closures, reversible lanes, and security checkpoints. The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) Construction Division provided daily inspection of traffic control features and signs. All types of elements were used, including vertical panels, cones, tubular markers, and flag ropes. HARs, portable VMS's, light towers, and flaggers were also used.
The traffic operations center provided the command post for UDOT management. It was in operation at all times – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (24/7). The center included an interagency coordination room, an engineering operations room, a security/in-transit operations room, and space for the Department of Public Safety dispatching.
Other elements included traffic control inspectors and contract managers, service patrol, venue teams and traffic observers, the traffic operations center, and the manual operation of traffic signals. There were also traffic observers in helicopters.
In planning for the games, multi-jurisdictional table-top exercises and simulations were conducted involving personnel from the Organizing Committee, security agencies, and transportation agencies. The sessions ranged from four hours to two-days. These exercises helped identify unforeseen needs and potential weaknesses.
The transportation system and ITS elements in the area included 120 miles of freeway and 605 traffic signals on roadways. There were 218 CCTV cameras, 63 VMS's, and 12 HAR's. In addition, there were some 23 ramp meters and 30 RWIS's.
The operations center focused on traffic information, traffic signals, weather, service patrol dispatching, the two advanced traffic management systems (ATMS), and additional phone support. Hourly traffic projections were provided. This information was used to establish monitoring and field observation schedules, which were published daily on the website. The schedule was developed in 15-minute time blocks from 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight. It included event in-loads and out-loads. It also included schedules for starting and stopping VMS messages, traffic signal timing plans, HAR messages, traffic control setups and takedowns, and CCTV camera tours.
VMS message sets were developed for every freeway segment. VMS and HAR messages were prepared for low, medium, and high impact. Traffic signal action sets for detours were also developed.
The traffic signal operations focused on the 605 signals online. There were 368 time-of-day plans, 418 incident plans, and 478 Olympic plans. Plans were also developed for motorcades carrying key dignitaries.
A special inspection and maintenance program was completed on 150 signals prior to the Olympics. Light emitting diodes (LEDs) and pedestrian countdown timers were installed at many signals. During the Olympics, the center operated seven days a week in two shifts from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Crews were assigned to zones around venues.
The incident management and service patrol was a key part of traffic management during the Olympics. UDOT engineering and office personnel helped supplement the incident management team during the Olympics. Patrols operated on 20-mile round trips. The service patrol assisted 1,800 stranded motorists and provided UDOT with personnel on the road reporting back to the center.
The UDOT venue teams reported to the region traffic engineers. The teams made field decisions on traffic control and radioed observations back to the traffic operations center (TOC). They provided field coordination with police and the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee. The venue teams were able to help solve a number of problems quickly and efficiently.
The experience in Salt Lake City highlighted the importance of coordination, cooperation, and communication with the agencies and groups involved. The detailed planning, modeling, testing, and training were also critical to the successful operation of the transportation system during the games. The TDM elements and the public information campaign were also important. Providing adequate field personnel, with radios rather than cellular telephones, was critical. Finally, interagency teamwork was key to the success of the transportation system during the Olympics.
Planning for Operations, A Gold Medal Example – Using LIFT-2002
Andrea Olson discussed the development and use of the Logistical Information for Transportation (LIFT-2002) project, which was used in planning the transportation elements of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. She highlighted the purpose of the project and other possible uses.
The purpose of the LIFT-2002 project was to create an easy-to-use, interactive, transportation forecasting tool for the 2002 Winter Olympics. LIFT-2002 was used to develop operational forecasts for real-time traffic control.
The LIFT-2002 project was intended to provide an interactive, easy-to-use transportation-forecasting tool. The program was Windows based, and was menu driven to serve a broad audience. The program provided information on schedules, times, locations, and visitor groups and could be queried by day, by venue, or by roadway. It also could provide hourly traffic forecasts on major routes.
The main menu provided options for examining information by day, by venue, by roadway, and by editing global data. All events for a selected day or a selected venue could be examined or a specific event could be identified. The global editing feature allowed for editing by user group mode, user group arrival and departure times, user group distribution for a selected venue, and by route alternatives. The program allowed for data to be presented graphically.
LIFT-2002 was intended for use as input for advanced TOC signal timing plans, to help coordinate transit plans and schedule contingencies, and to help coordinate with security. Actual use of LIFT-2002 was slightly different, however. It was used to identify problem areas and areas of excess capacity. It was also used to help focus trip reduction efforts, and as input for parking area analysis and operational simulation.