Implement travel demand management and ITS strategies to successfully reduce congestion and delay during special events.

Phoenix International Raceway's experience with TDM strategies.

Phoenix,Arizona,United States

Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

The Phoenix International Raceway's (PIR) successful implementation of travel demand management (TDM) and ITS strategies is highlighted in the NCHRP 309 report. The raceway, located in the Phoenix Valley, hosts several events annually with attendance ranging from several thousand to nearly 150,000 patrons. The facility benefits from several access points along the interstate and state highway systems as well as several arterials which feed the raceway.

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.
    Efforts are also made to better coordinate with the media to avoid confusing information regarding routes to take the raceway.

    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.
The PIR's Special Event Traffic Management System was successful in reducing the impact of large influxes of traffic on patrons and non-patrons of the PIR. Through a coordinated traffic demand management and traveler information system, travel conditions have actually improved with increased efficiency and mobility despite the increase in traffic volumes with larger, more popular events at the raceway.

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NCHRP 309 Transportation Planning and Management for Special Events

Author: Jodi L. Carson and Ryan G. Bylsma of Montana State University

Published By: National Cooperative Highway Research Program - Transportation Research Board

Source Date: 2003

URL: http://gulliver.trb.org/publications/nchrp/nchrp_syn_309a.pdf#search='NCHRP%20309%20Transportation%20Planning%20and%20Management%20for%20Special%20Events

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Firoz Kabir


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Lesson ID: 2008-00452