Measuring the influence of recurring sporting events on freeway characteristics
Freeway traffic is subject to the effects of recurring and non-recurring events. Changes in the traffic stream as a result of recurring special events, specifically sports, is an area that is not well researched. This study examined freeway detectors adjacent to two baseball stadiums in California to analyze the contribution of a baseball game to freeway flow and occupancy for weekday evening games. In addition, hourly volumes on local rail transit were analyzed in the San Francisco case. Findings include a statistically significant effect of baseball increasing the flow by approximately 1,000 vehicles over the afternoon commute in both locations. San Francisco volumes were influenced by day-of-week, type of opponent, as well as starting pitcher. Games on a Friday against their noted rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers produced the highest volumes with 4,000 vehicles more than the average weekday evening baseball game. Anaheim volumes were only affected by month-of-year. As cities explore transportation options to their sporting venues, it is important to take an inventory of the impact of events on the existing network.