Not so strange at all, when you consider that some 100,000 fans attend the music festival during each day of the two weekend event, and most of those arrive in a motor vehicle. Translation: TRAFFIC! Snarling traffic on I-10 and state roads as attendees arrive, producing another travel challenge – PARKING! What’s a concert organizer to do?
This year, Coachella did a smart thing. It partnered with TrafficCast International, installing a dozen temporary BlueTOAD Spectra devices which allowed festival organizers to see traffic patterns during different times of the day, and thus anticipate and plan traffic management accordingly.
Here’s from BlueTOAD headquarters:
Although the Coachella music festival has been around for almost twenty years, there has been very little data available for traffic management planning prior to and during the festival. A traffic management strategy is much more effective when coordinators have an idea of drivers’ preferred routes, peak hours, travel times and speeds.
For 2018, the city of Indio, in partnership with the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG), Advantec Consulting and TrafficCast International, proposed using TrafficCast’s BlueTOAD Spectra travel-time solution to address that lack.
Coachella aimed to collect accurate travel-time data and arterial speeds on three (3) of the major roadways leading to the concert grounds from Interstate 10 – the main access freeway in Coachella Valley. Employing BlueTOAD’s capability to collect and predict traffic patterns, Indio Traffic Engineering, Indio Police Department and the concert promoter were not only able to manage traffic approaching the festival better than in previous years, but also offer traffic information to the driving public.
Collected by BlueTOAD Spectra devices, comprehensive travel time data was made available to Indio’s traffic management team via the real-time, web-based reporting software, BlueARGUS, enabling planners to create comparison reports and conduct origin-destination studies. This helped identify peak hours and preferred routes to the venue as well as compare route speeds and travel time, day to day and even weekend to weekend.
Other valuable data was also made available, such as that concert attendees stayed an average 38 hours over the weekend.
In addition to providing this data, TrafficCast International worked behind the scenes creating a mobile app via its existing TrafficCarma app. Partnering with iHeart Media, the app, known as TotalTraffic, was promoted on iHeart’s many stations encouraging concert goers to download the app or simply visit CoachellaTraffic.com. There, users selected their preferred routes and received travel time and speed information.
The end results? Far greater visibility on current traffic conditions and an amazing amount of data to reference for any strategy changes during the 2018 festival as well as consideration for future festivals. The most rewarding aspect of the project is perhaps the availability of useful information to the driving public. We all like choices. And traffic officials say informed drivers with a choice of viable routes along with travel times, are less inclined to speed. After all, safe and efficient roadways is what successful traffic management is all about, and TrafficCast, with BlueTOAD Spectra and BlueARGUS, is happy to contribute to that success.