Fans Guide to New Football Gameday Traffic Plan
Sept. 1, 2009
"I would like to thank President McRobbie and the Board of Trustees for their leadership in focusing us all on the issue of gameday traffic," said Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Fred Glass. "I would also like to thank our great partners, including Commissioner Michael W. Reed and the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT); Superintendent Paul E. Whitesell, Ph.D. and the Indiana State Police; Sheriff James L. Kennedy and the Monroe County Sheriff's Department; Chief Michael Diekhoff and the Bloomington Police Department; Captain Jerry Minger and the Indiana University Police Department; Mayor Mark Kruzan and the City of Bloomington; and Gorove-Shade Associates traffic consultants."
Last September, at the urging of the Board of Trustees, Indiana University commissioned a study of gameday traffic patterns, particularly in anticipation of INDOT's construction on the 45/46 Bypass. While the construction schedule has not yet been finalized, Indiana University is adopting new pre- and post-game traffic patterns with the goal of improving traffic flow.
"This process has reminded us all that there is no magic want to suddenly be able to move lots of people through limited corridors to a single point at the same time," observed Glass. "Still, this new plan should significantly improve traffic. Our new gameday experience and new stadium won't mean much if people can't get here."
The new plan calls for a clockwise traffic pattern to take effect a minimum of two hours prior to kickoff. Law enforcement officials will turn Fee Lane, 17th Street and Dunn Street into one-way streets surrounding the stadium. The 45/46 Bypass will remain two-way. However, only eastbound traffic will be allowed to enter the gameday traffic pattern. Westbound traffic will be restricted to through traffic.
The post-game traffic plan will also focus on one-way traffic patterns to allow vehicles quicker access to highways and main thoroughfares. Dunn Street and Fee Lane will both be one-way northbound to the 45/46 Bypass. The 45/46 Bypass will be one-way westbound from Fee Lane to Walnut Street.
A post-game pedestrian crossing area will be created on 17th Street between Fess and Woodlawn Avenues to allow foot traffic to more easily cross from the stadium lots to the grass parking lots. On either side of the pedestrian crossing area, 17th Street will be one-way heading away from the Memorial Stadium.
Glass noted that Assistant Vice President for Real Estate Lynn Coyne has led the university's traffic effort. "Lynn has done a fantastic job, and we would not be where we are without him," Glass said of Coyne.
Coyne indicated that IU worked with consultants Gorove-Slade Associates to develop the initial gameday traffic recommendations. IU then sought input from INDOT's traffic engineers, Gorove-Slade and the city of Bloomington to finalize the traffic plan.
Coyne added that INDOT has committed both expertise and resources to the new traffic plan. In addition to recommendations from traffic engineers, INDOT will alter traffic signals along both the SR 37 and the SR 67 corridors and at the I-465/ SR 37 exit on gamedays to manage the increased traffic flow. This will help alleviate traffic congestion coming from Indianapolis and northern Indiana.
INDOT will also be monitoring several traffic cameras on I-465 and SR 37 and is able to alert motorists via electronic highway message signs to use alternative routes such as SR 67 in the event of accidents or unusually high traffic.
"For this project INDOT and IU share the same mission, to safely and efficiently move traffic," said Ryan Gallagher, Director of Traffic Management at INDOT. "With IU hosting both Ohio State and Purdue this year, it'll be a real test. Given the traffic that we are expecting, the challenge will be to move it through the signalized intersections while minimizing impact to local traffic in places like Martinsville, Mooresville, and around Bloomington. That's what we'll attempt to do."
"The biggest improvements will come from the signal timing changes," Gallagher added. "We'll also work to provide traveler information to motorists by utilizing the cameras and message boards. That technology will help on the Interstate."
Coyne also added that INDOT will be testing a system that can measure average travel times from Indianapolis using a new detection technology that has also been utilized to monitor traffic at Purdue football games.
"This is cutting edge technology," said Coyne. "With device signature mapping, we'll have data that pinpoints drive time from several locations along the route. This will enable us to have real, tangible data to analyze, refine and improve our traffic patterns even further."
New signs to direct game day traffic will be placed on highways and surrounding streets prior to the first game on September 3. The signs will be designed by IU with consultation by INDOT to ensure that directional text is larger and easier to read from afar than existing signage.
Glass emphasized that improved traffic flow on gamedays is a top priority for his administration and for Indiana University.
"Gameday traffic has been problematic for years, not just for traveling fans, but also for Bloomington residents," said Glass. "With the input and support of INDOT, the City of Bloomington and others, we will be able to continue to analyze traffic on gamedays--especially during the Bypass construction phase--to ensure we're doing all that we can improve the football gameday experience for everyone."
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