The 2011 “Quaker State 400,” the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at the speedway, drew national attention when an overwhelming race-day crowd resulted in a gridlocked roadway system and parking shortages. In response, Kentucky Speedway acted aggressively to address and resolve the problems identified last year.
Kentucky Speedway has partnered with Kentucky State Police and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to implement multi-million dollar infrastructure and program improvements such as wider ramps, roads and highways; new pedestrian facilities along Ky. Highway 35; substantially increased parking capacity and staff; and advanced traffic management tools, including those being developed by Stantec.
Stantec’s microscopic traffic simulation models depict the movement of individual cars through the transportation network based on traffic control, traffic conditions and other factors. The models are populated by data that include the number of people coming to the speedway, where they are coming from, and when they will arrive.
In addition to traffic flow, the models also include mathematical relationships that replicate the impacts of driver behavior as vehicles move through the highway network. The software will simulate a pre-race inbound event and a post-race outbound event, as well as alternative scenarios that can impact race day traffic, such as rain, or traffic incidents, such as a crash on Interstate 71.
Stantec’s models will help shape a new traffic management plan and provide the speedway and other decision makers with traffic circulation and parking area usage data. Models also will be used as a management tool for allocating parking staff to efficiently process arriving vehicles. In addition, Stantec will be making recommendations regarding traffic flow, traffic control, site access and parking, pedestrian access, and en-route traveler information.
Staff from Stantec’s Louisville, Ky., and Lexington, Ky., offices are involved with this team project, building on a portfolio of transportation planning and traffic management initiatives for venues and municipalities across the country.
Tickets, campsites and daily infield Fan Zone passes for the Quaker State 400 tripleheader weekend can be purchased at http://www.kentuckyspeedway.com, by calling 859-578-2300 or visiting the Kentucky Speedway corporate offices at 1 Speedway Drive, Sparta, Ky., 41086.