ADOT Highway Operations Supervisor Ron Martin sums things up really well in the video above…
“I know everybody hates waiting in a line and if we can keep that line moving, they’re a little happier,” he says referring to traffic that spills out of a venue’s parking lot after a big event comes to an end – in this case, a NASCAR race at Phoenix International Raceway.
He’s absolutely right, no one likes sitting in a long line of traffic. That’s why ADOT and a number of other agencies work to not only keep things moving, but to make sure the impact on surrounding traffic is minimal.
Doing this takes a lot of planning – especially for larger events like the ones held at PIR, which can take months to coordinate.
“(There are) lots of cars and that means lots of logistics,” says PIR’s Director of Communications David Lockett. “We work together with local government agencies, including ADOT and other agencies to make sure we have all the details prepared … everyone works together, kind of like our own little pit crew, to make sure everything gets done.”
That teamwork approach is one always taken whenever ADOT assists with event traffic control.
According to ALERT Commander Tom Donithan, ADOT helps during other major events, including Tempe’s annual Fourth of July celebration, Arizona’s recent Centennial Ride and funeral processions for fallen firefighters and police officers. The number of agencies involved depends on the event and location, but there’s always a coordinated effort, says Donithan. Local law enforcement agencies, municipalities, DPS, MCSO and venue officials are among the people and departments typically involved in a traffic control detail.
“We’ve all got the same goal and everybody works really well together to make things happen,” Donithan says of the collaboration.
For more on how ADOT handles traffic control, you can check out our videos and blog posts about ADOT’s ALERT Team. The methods used to detour traffic after an event are similar to the ones used by the ALERT crews during serious crashes and incidents on the freeways.