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49 The traffic management process developed for the Kansas succeed. Each agency took responsibility for their part of the Speedway goes beyond simple convenience to spectators. By plan, executed it well, and supported their partners. The sense minimizing the impacts to through traffic on I-70 and I-435, of cooperation that started during the initial planning for traf- KHP can reduce freeway backups and minimize the chances of fic management of the race track has been carried into the con- secondary incidents on freeways. Efficient and effective move- tinued operations. It is clear that each agency felt they had an ment of vehicles off the race track is also critical for evacuation. important stake in the success of the Kansas Speedway and On April 25, 2009, a tornado touched down in Kansas only a contributed the resources and staff required for that success. few miles from the Kansas Speedway. About 30 min earlier, a One interesting note is that there are no formal agreements race that was in progress was suspended for the day due to rain, in place with any of the agencies regarding operations. When and many of the spectators were in the process of leaving the agencies were asked about this, they said they did not see a need event. The tornado did not touch down close enough to the to formalize what has worked well so far. There is confidence Kansas Speedway to cause any damage, but it was an important that they can continue to count on their partners, and that the reminder of the need to be able to efficiently move traffic out strong relationships and years of experience working together of an area, especially in Kansas, which is particularly prone to will continue to add to that confidence. tornadoes. Michigan: The Palace Lessons Learned of Auburn Hills Each agency interviewed identified the single most important The Palace of Auburn Hills (the Palace) is an arena located factor to the success of the special-event traffic management as northwest of Detroit that hosts events such as concerts, basket- the cooperation among all agencies in the planning and execu- ball games, circuses, and graduations for eight months of the tion of traffic management. The importance placed on success- year. Because of the volume of traffic generated by these types fully bringing the Speedway to Kansas by the governor and of events, an increase in traffic congestion is typical in the vicin- Kansas City certainly contributed to that cooperation and ity of the Palace. Focused traffic management plans at these coordination, but the personalities of the leaders from each locations can help mitigate the effects of the increased conges- agency and the existing relationships that had been established tion before and after the event. The Palace is located in Auburn were identified as even more important factors. Hills, a suburb of the greater Detroit, Michigan, area, in the KHP has learned that the development of a race-day proto- north-central section of Oakland County. The Auburn Hills col is particularly important, so that procedures for handling Police Department (AHPD) has been involved with traffic incidents or other unexpected events are well understood. KHP management strategies at the Palace since it opened in 1988 has worked with their partners to develop a tow policy to and has played an integral part in the development of the traf- address abandoned vehicles, a traffic crash policy to quickly fic management plan currently in place. clear incidents, and a no-patrol zone to keep troopers and police To acquire details regarding the traffic management plans officers in cruisers from adding to the congestion around the implemented for events hosted at the Palace, an initial inter- race track by limiting patrols to troopers on motorcycles. view was conducted with Danielle Deneau, PE, of the Road Receiving information from the CCTV cameras and the Commission for Oakland County (RCOC). After that conver- ability to control the portable DMSs from the KHP Command sation, a more in-depth interview was conducted with Capt. Center have been valuable. However, CCTV cameras have Jim Mynesberge of the Auburn Hills Police Department. failed in the past and communications to the portable DMSs are not always reliable, which sometimes necessitates the need Description for KDOT to manually change messages in the field. KHP and other agencies involved in traffic management have learned In terms of traffic operations and management, a special event that technology is useful, but they need to be careful that they can be categorized as a scheduled interruption to normal traf- are not totally dependent on technology. fic flow. The Palace special event case study provides an analy- sis for a multiagency, publicprivate partnership focused on managing traffic for planned events of varying sizes. The traf- Analysis and Research Observations fic management plan includes traffic control strategies man- Planning for the traffic management at the Kansas Speedway aged through the RCOC FAST-TRAC signal system, which is essentially began when Kansas was still being considered by the programmable and detects actual traffic counts (the original International Speedway Corporation and continued up until timing was based on recording traffic flow as officers manually the first event. Political support for the Kansas Speedway gave directed traffic); traffic monitoring capabilities through the those involved in traffic management a sense that they must MDOT CCTV cameras; and traveler information using the

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50 MDOT DMS and MiDrive website. The current traffic man- after events to provide exclusive use for Palace traffic when agement plan includes a partnership between the Palace, the events commence. Police, RCOC, and MDOT and has resulted in memoranda The Palace had several motivations for an improved traffic of understanding (MOUs) and formal agreements between management plan. The first was happier patrons attending some of these agencies. The plan provides a direct connection events. The second was monetary. Since the Palace pays for the between the Police dispatch and the RCOC TOC. The effec- use of AHPD officers to manage traffic at events, there was tiveness of the traffic management plan allows fewer officers to vested interest in streamlining the personnel and the time be used for managing traffic at special events and reduces the required. The larger events would require a total of 15 officers time required to load-in and load-out for each Palace event. to work an event and effectively manage traffic. Each inter- Load-in and load-out are two performance measures that have section required two to three officers to safely direct traffic to been defined to measure the success of traffic control before and from the facility (15 officers total). With the revised plan, and after events. the larger events can be managed effectively by only one or two officers. Initially, AHPD and the Palace met regularly to discuss Background of Agency improvements, issues, and traffic management strategies. The Palace is located within Auburn Hills, adjacent to I-75, AHPD now has the ability to implement the Event Manager and is within the jurisdiction of the AHPD. The Palace is a (developed by RCOC) and activate predetermined signal tim- multipurpose arena used for concerts, sporting events, and ing plans through the RCOC TOC. With this closely integrated other events such as wrestling, circuses, or graduations. The coordination, the issues have decreased and the coordination arena has been operational for over 20 years and is the perma- meetings have been reduced to only twice a year. nent home of the Detroit Pistons (NBA) and the Detroit AHPD and the Palace used two specific measures of effec- Shock (WNBA). The arena is recognized for its large capacity tiveness initially to determine if pre-event traffic was being for the NBA and can accommodate over 22,000 fans for bas- managed properly. These measures allowed the two agencies ketball games and over 25,000 for concerts at center stage. The to assess operations and determine the appropriate area of con- Palace also is the only arena that can hold the entire host city's cern, namely: population. The AHPD provides security and traffic enforcement for If traffic was queuing on the public roadway but the Palace the Palace during events. The Pistons typically attract a large driveways had additional capacity, then traffic was not being attendance for their games, which has resulted in the arena managed effectively by the police. expanding the parking capacity to keep pace with the atten- If traffic was stopped at the driveways and vehicles were dance demands. AHPD manages the traffic before, during, queuing on the public roads, then the Palace personnel were and after each event, with a focus on providing efficient and not effectively managing the parking operations. safe access for motorists. These observations were used to support the need to increase the access lanes and construct the additional driveway. The Process Development Palace parking process also was modified to establish longer The Palace partnered with AHPD and RCOC to develop a per- stacking lanes approximately an hour and half before the event sonalized traffic management plan for events at the Palace. The start time. This was necessary to accommodate the process for original traffic management plan used several police officers collecting parking fees from each vehicle. and manual traffic control to move vehicles through several For postevent traffic, the effectiveness measure was based intersections in the vicinity of the Palace. The original site plan on all the access drives clearing at the same time. The bal- included only three driveways, which created some capacity ance of exiting traffic was accomplished by sectioning the issues for event traffic ingress and egress. The traffic manage- lots and directing all traffic to the specific exits. Since most ment plan recommended improvements to the site that events ended after 10:00 p.m., the Palace traffic could receive included additional lanes, modified use of the existing drive- a higher preference in green time. It was determined that ways, and the construction of two additional access drives. One shorter cycle lengths resulted in extended clearance times new access drive was constructed on the north side of the site, for the Palace. Shorter cycle lengths create longer delays and one on the south side. The access drive located on the because of lost startup time and more clearance intervals per south side is called Direct Drive, and when clearing the park- hour. In other words, the longer traffic was stopped, the ing lot, only allows right turns, providing drivers with direct longer it took to empty vehicles from the lot. The passing traf- access to I-75. The Palace also established a MOU with MDOT fic was only inconvenienced by waiting through a single cycle to temporarily close the access road just east of Direct Drive length to accommodate the exiting Palace traffic. This impact

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51 was measured both visually and by using the FAST-TRAC The Palace has access to its own CCTV cameras around system. the facility and to MDOT-owned CCTV cameras on the trunk routes. The MDOT cameras provide information about traf- fic conditions on the roadways approaching the Palace. The Detailed Process and Integration Points Palace personnel also use radios to communicate continuously Figure 5.2 shows the process used by the Palace for special-event with AHPD. The Palace documents the load-in and load-out traffic management. The traffic management plan involves times for each event that occurs, and has observed that the revised signal timing at 19 intersections in the vicinity of the load-out time has decreased from approximately 1 h to less Palace. Signal timing plans were developed for small, medium, than 25 min with the current traffic management plan. and large events. The number of intersections included in the Figure 5.3 displays the Palace and the surrounding trans- signal timing plan provides a larger footprint than AHPD was portation network for reference. I-75 runs north-south on the able to manage with only police officers. The plan allows a west side of the Palace, and M24 (Lapeer Road) runs north- senior AHPD officer to select the appropriate timing plan based south on the east side. The small connector on the south side on input from the Palace concerning the size of an event. The of the Palace is the Direct Drive that is used exclusively for senior officer also has the authority to instruct the dispatcher postevent traffic. AHPD responds to incidents in the vicinity to activate the appropriate timing plans. The dispatcher then of the Palace, including those that occur on I-75. During has the ability to activate the timing plans via the Event Man- events, AHPD will coordinate for these incidents because they ager from the AHPD facility. can affect traffic management at the Palace. Coordination is Figure 5.2. Detailed business process diagram for a special event at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

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52 Source: 2010 Google. Map data 2010 Google. Source: 2010 Google. Imagery 2010 DigitalGlobe, USDA Farm Service Agency, Cnes/Spot Image, GeoEye, U.S. Geological Survey. Map data 2010 Google. Figure 5.3. The Palace of Auburn Hills and surrounding transportation network. initiated by AHPD with MDOT and the Michigan Intelligent timing plan based on the size of the event and directs the Transportation System Center (MITSC) to verify the incident, Dispatcher as to which plan to activate. The AHPD dispatch and MDOT will activate DMSs in the area to inform motorists has a direct connection with FAST-TRAC so RCOC person- of the incident if needed. In some cases, traffic is diverted to nel are not required during most events. Opdyke Road through media and DMS communication. The Palace has access to MDOT CCTV cameras so they can During an incident, the Palace monitors the CCTV cameras monitor traffic in the vicinity of the arena during an event. and communicates traffic conditions with the AHPD officers. MDOT also monitors traffic, but the Palace's access to sur- AHPD also coordinates with RCOC to determine possible veillance provides the ability to focus specifically on inci- adjustments to the signal timing. After the incident has cleared, dents that can affect typical traffic during an event. AHPD will coordinate with MDOT and RCOC to clear DMS Coordination occurs via radio between Palace personnel messages and reset signal timing, respectively. and AHPD personnel to adjust the predetermined traffic Several key integration points were identified in the Palace management plan and mitigate potential impacts on traffic. of Auburn Hills special-event traffic management process, The response to incidents during an event is coordinated including the following: among MDOT, the Palace, AHPD, and RCOC. Based on the impact of the incident, DMSs are activated with appropriate Coordination between the Palace and AHPD: Based on messages, timing plans can be adjusted, and additional guidelines established in the traffic management plan, the resources can be implemented for modified traffic control Palace determines the size of an event (small, medium, or solutions. large) and informs AHPD. The AHPD Dispatcher has the ability to activate the pre- The Palace maintains records of all events, including the determined signal timing plans within FAST-TRAC. The load-in and load-out times. Based on this documentation, the AHPD Sergeant has the authority to select the appropriate stakeholders have identified consistent results in the current

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53 traffic management plan. RCOC maintains the event signal approaching roadways. When incidents occur in Auburn Hills, timing plans respective to each event size. These timing plans even on the interstate, AHPD typically are the first responders can be revisited if issues or changing traffic patterns are identi- on scene. They will respond and coordinate with the Michi- fied. The MDOT MITS Center maintains incident records that gan State Police (MSP) and MDOT on the traffic management can be referenced to determine impacts on the traffic during needs at the incident. They also coordinate with the Palace on events. There is no central location for data related to events at any impacts to event-related traffic. MDOT will activate mes- the Palace, but it can be obtained from the individual partners. sage signs to warn motorists and AHPD can modify the traffic management strategy to accommodate the changes in traffic patterns. Types of Agencies Involved There are four main partners involved in the coordination of Performance Measures events at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The publicprivate part- nership includes AHPD, the Palace, RCOC, and MDOT. The Because the Palace tracks the load-in and load-out times dur- Palace is responsible for traffic on arena property, maintaining ing each event, those times can be compared to ensure the traf- an arena-specific traffic management plan, and coordinating fic management plan is working effectively. They meet with with AHPD for implementation. The Palace also has access to AHPD to discuss new issues and develop strategies that can MDOT CCTV cameras so they can monitor traffic conditions mitigate these issues at the next scheduled event. The Palace on approaching routes. AHPD is the local police department maintains constant communication with AHPD to ensure that responsible for traffic control within the city, including the there is efficient and safe access for motorists. AHPD also com- local interstate routes. RCOC is responsible for county road municates with RCOC on potential issues with the signal tim- maintenance and operations of the countywide signal system. ing plans. The improved signal timing plans have allowed RCOC has developed and programmed event-specific timing AHPD to reduce the number of required traffic control police plans relative to the three categories of event sizes and allows officers from 15 to no more than two officers for each event. AHPD to activate appropriate timing plans remotely. The Emptying the parking lots of the Palace can now be achieved in MDOT MITS Center is responsible for monitoring the south- less than 25 min. In addition, crash rates have remained con- eastern Michigan roadway network and uses CCTV cameras sistent with the implementation of the Event Manager. and detection for surveillance and DMS and the MiDrive web- site for sharing traveler information. Benefits The traffic management program at the Palace of Auburn Hills Types of Nonrecurring Congestion Addressed has proven to be successful. Benefits include improved traffic The Palace's traffic management plan addresses nonrecurring control efficiency; improved travel time; higher efficiency of traffic impacts classified as special events and crashes. When motorist movement; and streamlined use of police resources. the Palace opened in 1988, AHPD manually controlled traffic These benefits are achieved through strong relationships and in and around the arena. AHPD used approximately three to trust between the stakeholders. four traffic control police officers per intersection at several With the reduction in load-in and load-out times, the intersections (15 officers in all). In addition, the larger events impact on motorists traveling in the vicinity of the arena also required at least an hour to move traffic in and out of the park- is reduced. In addition, spectators are able to reach the arena ing facilities. more quickly and spend more time at the event. This improved The signal timing plans available through FAST-TRAC and mobility translates into cost savings for the motorists by reduc- the agreement between RCOC and AHPD to activate signal ing fuel consumption and travel. The Palace also experiences a timing plans remotely via the Event Manager make it possible fiscal benefit by having spectators arrive earlier at events. to improve efficiency. The signal timing plans are predeter- The improved signal timing plans allow for more intersec- mined based on the estimated level of traffic for scheduled tions to be managed during an event with fewer officers, which events. The signal timing plans also incorporate additional frees up more officers for responding to emergencies, inci- intersections that were previously not managed during events. dents, and other situations. Fewer officers for manual traffic The revised signal timing plans allow AHPD to decrease the control also has increased safety for personnel. Directing traf- total number of officers required at any event to no more than fic in the dark and during poor weather conditions often cre- two and reduced the time for emptying the lot to approxi- ated unsafe conditions for AHPD officers. The Palace's cost for mately 25 min. police personnel also is reduced. The Palace indicated that the Improved incident management is the result of an agreement savings from the fewer officers required to control traffic can between MDOT and the Palace to share camera images. The be redirected to other expenses, such as an extension of park- Palace personnel can access views of several cameras located on ing facilities or a reduction in ticket costs for events.