Develop an effective evacuation plan for special event that gathers a large audience and consider co-locating the responding agencies in a joint command center.
Experience from iFlorida Model Deployment
With so many people attending Speedway events, concerns existed about whether the Speedway could be efficiently evacuated if an event occurred. These concerns were increased because, in 2004, the Speedway was in the process of a significant remodeling of the Speedway infield area. These changes necessitated an updated evacuation plan for the Speedway.
The ITS infrastructure near the Speedway that supported traffic leaving the Speedway during an evacuation was also changing. Prior to the 2003, there was already close coordination between the Speedway and nearby transportation agencies-particularly, FDOT D5, Volusia County, the City of Daytona Beach, and the FHP-to manage traffic entering and exiting the Speedway. Volusia County and the City of Daytona Beach would modify signal timings to accommodate higher traffic flows towards the Speedway before a race and away from it afterwards. FDOT staff would stay at the Daytona Beach TMC to coordinate between the City of Daytona Beach, local law enforcement, FHP, and Road Rangers, and D5 would use its traffic management resources (e.g., 511, DMS) to help monitor and improve traffic flow.
During the period when the iFlorida infrastructure was being deployed, a significant expansion in ITS infrastructure near the Speedway was taking place. Traffic monitoring devices and DMSs were being installed on both I-4 and I-95 near the Speedway, and trailblazer signs were being deployed at a number of key intersections on arterials that might carry traffic during a Speedway evacuation or when an incident occurred on I-4 or I-95 near the Speedway. (See Source, Figure 139 shows the locations of the dynamic message and trailblazer signs in the area around the Speedway.) The development of the new Speedway evacuation plan provided an opportunity for the nearby transportation agencies to update their plans on how to use available resources to best manage Speedway traffic. A new emergency evacuation plan was developed focusing primarily on evacuating spectators off the property and onto the roads. The plan included the following components:
- A concept of operations that described the organizations involved in an evacuation and their responsibilities as well as the relationship of the Speedway evacuation plan to other emergency plans and facilities.
- Pre-planned pedestrian evacuation routes for all sections of the facility, with assignment of responsibility to uniformed public safety personnel and vested event staff as necessary to direct evacuees to safety.
- Recommended public information and emergency instructions regarding the evacuation process.
- Establish a joint command center. In order to evacuate attendees, a number of jurisdictions and organizations would need to be involved. The Speedway would need to direct attendees to their vehicles and manage traffic exiting parking facilities. The City of Daytona Beach and Volusia County would need to modify signal timings and police the evacuating traffic. FDOT and FHP would need to manage traffic on I-4 and I-95. Coordination of these activities would be simplified from a joint command center.
- Identify a route for ingress and egress of emergency response personnel. The Speedway evacuation plan designated a route linking the Speedway with the nearby Halifax Medical Center. This emergency ingress/egress route could be used for entry by emergency response personnel and for evacuation of injured to the medical center. It did not cross any pre-planned evacuation route to avoid conflicts between pedestrian evacuees and emergency service vehicles.
- Identify an off-site staging area for emergency response personnel. The plan identified a strategic off-site location to which supplemental response personnel would initially respond, and located this area on the emergency ingress/egress route.
- Establish pedestrian evacuation routes and procedures for managing pedestrian traffic on these routes. The plan established pedestrian evacuation routes, so that attendees could make it to their vehicles. Attendees would be expected to walk to their vehicles in a direction away from or around the evacuated area. Once in their vehicles, evacuees would be directed to drive out of the area, away from or around the evacuated area.
- Establish evacuation routes and procedures for managing vehicular traffic on local and state routes evacuating the Speedway area. Once vehicles departed from the available parking areas, traffic management services would be provided by the City, County and State, using currently established procedures and facilities.
- Review and update the evacuation plans annually. To accommodate changes that might occur either at the Speedway or in the local transportation network, the evacuation plans should be reviewed on an annual basis. It was recommended that a table top exercise be conducted biannually to help determine if modifications or enhancements are needed.
The Speedway management reported to FDOT that it had received numerous comments from Speedway attendees regarding the usefulness of the roadside signs in helping them find their way during this event. The incident made it clear that the emergency evaluation plan was useful improving the mobility and efficiency of the transportation network in an emergency situation.
Author: Robert Haas (SAC); Mark Carter (SAIC); Eric Perry (SAIC); Jeff Trombly (SAIC); Elisabeth Bedsole (SAIC): Rich Margiotta (Cambridge Systematics)
Published By: United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20590
Source Date: 01/30/2009
EDL Number: 14480URL: http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/31000/31000/31051/14480.htm
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Intelligent Transportation Systems > Emergency Management > Response & Recovery > Emergency Traveler Information
Intelligent Transportation Systems > Emergency Management > Response & Recovery > Response Management
Intelligent Transportation Systems > Freeway Management > Special Event Transportation Management > Occasional Events
planned special events