Fan: "Traffic moved smoothly"Share
Just because NASCAR drivers battle race traffic doesn't mean fans should. Race fans at Michigan International Speedway for this past weekend's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Citizens Bank 400 event should have noticed some significant improvements to their race-day traffic. Track President Roger Curtis said changes in the traffic patterns and road improvements around the track dramatically reduced egress time out of the facility. Curtis estimates parking lots for the 1,400-acre facility were moving freely or cleared in about two hours following the Citizens Bank 400 on Sunday — a significant change from the four to five hours it has been known to take. "I'm proud to say that we made huge strides to improve the total race experience for our fans — from the moment they left their homes to the moment they returned after the race and everything in between," Curtis said. "I knew, having been to MIS many times as a race fan, the track had a reputation for traffic. Along with the Michigan Department of Transportation and the surroundings townships, we have made improving that element of the fans' experience a priority." About 150,000 guests in nearly 40,000 vehicles traveled to MIS for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Citizens Bank 400. MIS staff worked closely with Michigan State Police and the Michigan Department of Transportation; POCO, Inc., a traffic control device company; and area county and township law enforcement to manage race-day traffic and parking for the race. The track's parking supervisors and operations staff coordinated it all with the help of countless volunteer groups. Curtis also credits the State of Michigan and its 2006 allocation of $18.5 million in safety and access improvements along U.S. 127 and U.S. 12, the key corridors that surround MIS. The state's three-year plan includes directional signage to MIS along the state highways and interstates near the track, enabling race fans to navigate their way safely to the speedway. Curtis and guest services staff at Michigan International speedway have already received e-mails and phone messages from ticket holders shortly following the race who were surprised by how well traffic moved. "The improved traffic pattern made leaving the track a lot easier, especially after the NEXTEL Cup Citizens Bank 400 race on Sunday," Aaron Ludwiczak, an MIS season-ticket holder since 1996, said. "That was one of the shortest timeframes to leave the parking lot I've experienced. Once we go on the freeway, traffic moved very smoothly and we were able to return home very quickly. Everyone at MIS should be proud of the great job they did this weekend, and my family looks forward to returning the speedway for the August events." Fans should have also noticed the other improvements that were made, including the improved grandstand seating in Turn One, paved tram routes and new trams for guests with disabilities. The new grandstands in Turn One offered race fans last weekend premium seating and amazing sightlines of MIS' two-mile oval. Tickets are available for the IndyCar Series Firestone Indy 400 on August 5, the NASCAR Busch Series CARFAX 250 on August 18 and the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series 3M Performance 400 on August 19 by calling the official MIS ticket hotline at 800-354-1010 or by visiting MISpeedway.com. Michigan International Speedway, It's Your Speed!
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