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21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Resources to Support Planned Special Events Traffic Management Capability Maturity Framework Users

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The Planned Special Event (PSE) Capability Maturity Framework (CMF) is intended for State and local agencies to assess their current operational capabilities with respect to planned special event traffic management.

Planned Special Events include sporting events, concerts, festivals, and conventions occurring at permanent multi-use venues (e.g., arenas, stadiums, racetracks, fairgrounds, amphitheaters, and convention centers). They also include less frequent public events such as parades, fireworks displays, bicycle races, motorcycle rallies, seasonal festivals, marches, and milestone celebrations at temporary venues.

These events can significantly impact travel safety, mobility, and reliability; therefore, managing these events requires advanced operations planning, strong inter-agency coordination, frequent communication, and resource sharing. In addition to helping agencies assess their current PSE capabilities, the CMF tool is able to provide a list of concrete actions for improving their PSE operations.

The following resources, organized by capability dimensions and sub-dimensions, provide examples of existing capability throughout the country. When multiple examples are available, they are included as "additional examples" in the table.

Click below to go directly to a particular dimension:

For more general resources and publications pertaining to planned special events: FHWA Planned Special Events Traffic Management Publications.

Business Process

Business processes, in the context of planned special events, refers to activities such as planning, programming, agency project development processes, and those organizational aspects that govern various technical or administrative functions such as training, human resource management, contracting and procurement, information technology, or coordination. In many cases, the business process elements go beyond the day-to-day operational activities and require broader institutional support and involvement to address. All of these processes are fundamental to the success of operations and management activities. Without the right procurement processes, partnering commitments, sustainable funding, internal awareness, and support, there could be a limited capacity to be able to implement more complex operations programs and activities. Table 1 provides a list of resources in this area.

Table 1. Business Process Resources for PSE
Sub-Dimensions Primary Example
Needs Assessment Planning

Actions under this sub-dimension focus on the ability of agencies to regularly assess and address needs related to PSE.

The City of Portland has a public special events calendar allowing anyone to view basic details about all upcoming events, and provides links for additional information.

Additional Example

  • Planning for Special Events in Iowa, University of Iowa Football Game Special Event Strategic Plan analyzes traffic and pedestrian flow at each event and to work with event staff, agencies and others in developing roadway, operations and safety improvements where appropriate.
Budgeting and Funding

Actions under this sub-dimension focus on the ability of an agency to program PSE needs into the budgeting and procurement process while also emphasizing the need to identify a mechanism to request or recover funds from event promoters/venues when possible.

Portland, Oregon commissioned a study on the costs and impacts of existing PSE policy to the local community. This kind of valuation can help validate event funding.

Systems and Technology

Use of the appropriate processes for design and implementation of systems will ensure that the needs of the region are appropriately addressed, that systems are implemented in an efficient manner, and that interoperability with other systems is achieved. Table 2 provides a list of resources in this area.

Table 2. Systems and Technology Resources for PSE
Sub-Dimensions Primary Example
Technology Application

Actions under this sub-dimension focus on identifying and utilizing all existing transportation technologies to support PSE operations.

Use of drone technology to manage and monitor traffic at the New York State Fair

Additional Example

Integration / Interoperability

Actions under this sub-dimension focus on establishing protocols to support the sharing of real-time PSE voice communication interoperability.

Regional Interoperable Communications Plans (RICP) are designed to both assess the current posture of the NCTF with respect to their ability to operate and maintain interoperable communications between public safety agencies and organizations, and to provide recommendations to improve the current program(s). Fort Worth's RICP is a good example describing the channel designations, and priorities for radio communications across the region.

Additional Example

Standardized Systems

Actions under this sub-dimension focus on developing and regularly exercising protocols/guidelines to support PSE transportation operations.

The Washington, DC region has a Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination (MATOC) that helps facilitate information sharing during special events, and includes an Operations Subcommittee dedicated to defining operating procedures. See Page 6 of the report Evaluation of Regional Real-time Transit Communications and Data Information Sharing in the Nation's Capital Region.

Performance Measurement

Performance measurement is essential as the means of determining program effectiveness, determining how changes are affecting performance, and guiding decision-making. In addition, operations performance measures demonstrate the extent of transportation problems and can be used to make the case for operations within an agency and for decision-makers and the traveling public, as well as to demonstrate to them what is being accomplished with public funds on the transportation system. Table 3 provides a list of resources in this area.

Table 3. Performance Measurement Resources for PSE
Sub-Dimensions Primary Example
Measures Definition

Actions under this sub-dimension help an agency formally define the most important measures for PSE in the region, including identifying where they will be measured for the program. As capability matures, actions provide agencies with the ability to incorporate more outcome-oriented measures in their performance framework.

In Washington DC, The Mayor's Special Events Task Group (MSETG) asks event organizers to submit an After-Action Report documenting key successes and failures.

Additional Example

Data Acquisition

Actions under this sub-dimension help an agency establish a data acquisition approach to the defined performance measures including defining data gaps, establishing data management systems, and identifying public- and private-sector roles and opportunities.

Washington DC's multi-agency events planning body uses the Regional Integrated Transportation Information System (RITIS) for real time data feeds—as explained in Evaluation of Regional Real-time Transit Communications and Data Information Sharing in the Nation's Capital Region (see pages 7-10).
Performance Utilization

Actions under this sub-dimension help an agency/region use the performance measures to actively manage PSE transportation operations. Performance is routinely considered in planning for future events.

Washington DC's multi-agency events planning body uses the Regional Integrated Transportation Information System (RITIS) to also actively share, archive and analyze performance information—as explained in Evaluation of Regional Real-time Transit Communications and Data Information Sharing in the Nation's Capital Region (see pages 7-10).

Organization and Workforce

Efficient execution of processes supporting effective programs requires appropriate combination of coordinated organizational functions and technical qualified staff with clear management authority and accountability. Table 4 provides a list of resources in this area.

Table 4. Organization and Workforce Resources for PSE
Sub-Dimensions Primary Example
Organizational Structure

Actions under this sub-dimension help an agency formally integrate PSE and corresponding staffing into their organizational structure.

Alexandria, Virginia's Special Events Committee is composed of several agencies and is responsible for the approval and facilitation of special events.

Additional Examples

Staff Development / Professional Capacity Building

Actions under this sub-dimension help an agency continually improve its staff capabilities and provide a formal approach to incorporating new staff into the PSE operations.

The Washington, DC region has an Operations Subcommittee responsible for identifying and filling staffing roles related to agency coordination for traffic management, with a focus on special events. It also conducts post-incident reviews.

See page 6 of the Evaluation of Regional Real-time Transit Communications and Data Information Sharing in the Nation's Capital Region

Culture

Culture is the combination of values, assumptions, knowledge, and expectations of the agency in the context of its institutional and operating context, and as expressed in its accepted mission and related activities. Table 5 provides a list of resources in this area.

Table 5. Culture-Related Resources for PSE
Sub-Dimensions Primary Example
Understanding

Actions under this sub-dimension provide ideas to increase awareness of the need for and importance of maximizing transportation operations for PSE.

Portland, Oregon commissioned a study on the costs and impacts of existing PSE policy to the local community. This kind of valuation can help validate event funding.
Outreach

Actions under this sub-dimension focus on identifying mechanisms to effectively communicate with the public prior to and during PSE.

Georgia DOT's schedule of public information meetings to discuss special events with a significant road impact or road closure component, offering a means to communicate event-specific information to the public.

Additional Examples

Collaboration

The development and implementation of planned special events requires a collaborative approach. The effectiveness of most strategies is dependent on improving the coordinated performance of each partner. Table 6 provides a list of resources in this area.

Table 6. Collaboration Resources for PSE
Sub-Dimensions Primary Example
Involvement / Relationships
Actions under this sub-dimension focus on engaging all disciplines in PSE planning, preparedness, and operations.
The City of Portland has a public special events calendar allowing anyone to view basic details about all upcoming events, and provides links for additional information.

Additional Example

Roles and Responsibilities

Actions under this sub-dimension focus on establishing and obtaining mutual understanding of agency/entity roles and responsibilities for PSE transportation operations.

Wyoming DOT's engagement with the NWS in their planning and outreach for the 2017 solar eclipse, creating an efficient division of responsibility.

Additional Example

Leadership/Decision-Making

Actions under this sub-dimension focus on obtaining leadership support for actively participating in PSE planning and operations.

The Washington, DC Mayor's Special Events Task Group (MSETG) is responsible for coordinating city planning efforts for events requiring multi-agency involvement, and determining which stakeholders will need to be involved, and what an event's impacts may be.
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