Plan sufficient time for facilitating and accommodating interagency relationship-building for major events.
Boston, Massachusetts’s experience with transportation planning for special events.
Development of the operations plan was slow and painstaking because there were numerous state, local, and regional agencies involved, and there was no single person with final authority over the plan. In order to ensure interagency coordination in the design of a management and operations plan, the DNC Host Committee convened a weekly meeting of all interested transportation and security officials. Attendees were decision-makers and senior operations staff for the various agencies, which allowed decisions and adjustments to be made quickly. Ultimately, the representatives of the various transportation and security entities pulled together and worked collaboratively. When interviewed, many interviewees stated that 18 months was not enough time to properly plan for the convention. All the interviewees (federal, state, and local) stressed the importance of early planning, consistent and appropriate agency participation and regularly scheduled meetings.
- Build trust among federal, state and local partners early in the planning process. Many of the federal players had not worked with state or local officials; even the locals were often strangers to each other. Moreover, some agency staffs had occasionally been adversaries. Building trust among such disparate players takes time. So does the recognition of partnering opportunities—a full inventory of all available resources should happen early.
- Develop a regional operations plan for the special event. Transportation engineers and security officials initially had conflicting missions, different perspectives, and opposing priorities. It took many protracted meetings over 18 months to understand each other's needs and requirements.
This lesson points out that the complex challenges of the 2004 DNC forced various agencies and their staff to work together in ways that had not occurred in the past. Project time needs to be allocated for facilitating and accommodating interagency relationship-building. Transportation and security agencies practiced and refined security activities, and different levels of staff and management learned to work together. Several interviewees commented that the bonds formed before and during the convention continue to help resolve day-to-day transportation issues.
Author: Allan DeBlasio et al
Published By: Prepared by Volpe for the USDOT
Source Date: 1/1/2005
EDL Number: 14120
Other Reference Number: Report No. FHWA-JPO-05-040URL: http://ntl.bts.gov/lib//jpodocs/repts_te//14120.htm
Average User Rating
Show the V