Tomas Tales: CMS Traffic Management Stake Holders Thumbs Up!

This was enormous, and a long time in the process!

Major stakeholders involved in the Canadian Motor Speedway Traffic Management Plan, or the TMP as we call it for short, have given CMS their support and final input on the implementation of what Executive Director Azhar Mohammad calls an “unprecedented document”.

And that’s exactly what it is.

The goal of the meeting in St.Catharines this week at The 4-Points Sheraton Hotel, where they make excellent sandwiches, was to get closer to the end of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO ) final process to approve the CMS TMP with a final review and consensus by those organizations and bodies who will have a hand in the traffic management process for major CMS events.

The list of those in the meeting was very impressive. These are the key decision- makers who will ultimately make sure the fan experience, coming from both sides of the border to CMS is a pleasant and safe one. People like The Ministry of Transportation of The Province of Ontario, The Niagara Region, The Town of Fort Erie, The Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition, Canada Border Services Agency, Department of Homeland Security, and of course The Ontario Provincial Police, The Niagara Regional Police Service, and Niagara Emergency Medical Services.

The meeting was really one of the final steps after years of in-depth painstaking discussions with specific agencies responsible for traffic, transit, emergency services, border crossings and the QEW corridor which will service the facility.They also looked at similar, existing speedways to examine how they get fans in and out of their parks.

All of these organizations will have a role to play at various levels for CMS events, particularly when attendance exceeds 15 thousand fun-loving fans.
All stakeholders have shown tremendous support of the CMS development since initial discussions and the generation of the Traffic Management Plan, and the St.Catharines meeting sustained that good vibe.

There are small minour refinements to be made to certain aspects of the TMP based on input from the stakeholders at the meeting. Once everyone signs off on their respective duties, CMS will issue the final TMP, part of the over-all site plan, and present it to The Town of Fort Erie for approval to obtain the permits required to get equipment back on site to resume work this summer.

We can also tell you The MTO is just about ready to start refurbishment of the Bowen Road interchange, the result of a long and highly detailed collaboration between CMS and The Ministry.

Meanwhile, where the ¾ mile oval track on the site will actually sit has been finalized, while Jeff Gordon continues to work with CMS architects on design tweaks.

Barring any approval delays, the forecast is for a 2018 opening of what will be Canada’s largest auto racing facility, and Canada’s largest sports arena.

T’aint easy planning something like this, but good things of size are rarely easy.

But the thumbs-up on the CMS Traffic Management Plan moves the football even closer to the goal line!

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Major Step Forward for CMS Traffic Management Plan

Major Step Forward for Canadian Motor Speedway – Key Stakeholders Provide Full Support & Input to Finalize CMS Traffic Management Plan

Fort Erie, Ontario Another major milestone was reached by the Canadian Motor Speedway’s (CMS) development team this week, as major stakeholders involved in the Traffic Management Plan (TMP) provided their support and final input on the implementation of this unprecedented document.

The goal of the meeting was to move closer to a conclusion of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) final process to approve the TMP with a final review and consensus by key entities involved in the traffic management process for major events to be held at CMS.  Development of the framework for the TMP consisted of several years of in-depth discussions with specific agencies responsible for traffic, transit, emergency services, border crossings and the QEW corridor which will traverse CMS’s eastern gates.

The Wednesday January 27th meeting, facilitated by The Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport at the 4-Points Sheraton Hotel in St. Catharines included The Ministry of Transportation of The Province of Ontario, The Niagara Region, The Town of Fort Erie, Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition (NITTEC), Canada Border Services Agency, Department of Homeland Security plus stakeholders related to traffic management on the ground in Niagara including the Ontario Provincial Police, Niagara Regional Police Service and Niagara Emergency Medical Services.

All of the listed organizations will have a role to play at various levels for CMS events, particularly when attendance exceeds 15,000 patrons to ensure a safe and fluid ingress / egress experience for all attendees. The high profile meeting also addressed issues that have historically surfaced at other similar facilities to assess and consider the best methods of management utilizing the latest technology.

All stakeholders have shown tremendous support of the CMS development since initial discussions and the generation of the Traffic Management Plan.

Canadian Motor Speedway Partner and Executive Director, Azhar Mohammad says the meeting was a huge positive step forward for CMS.   “The level of individuals participating in this unprecedented meeting was exceptional. Everyone came with the objective to arrive at a consensus on the Traffic Management Plan. We reviewed the key issues related to the execution of the TMP strategy, and everyone offered solutions that will further refine our TMP. We have committed to incorporate today’s points and issue the finalized plan to complete the TMP approval process in a matter of weeks. We have arrived at a traffic management plan that everyone will spring-board from. It validates the efforts we’ve invested in to date on determining the best practices to effectively manage the traffic component of our facility. We were equally pleased to learn that the MTO has begun its process to replace the Bowen Road interchange which concludes a two year joint evaluation process by CMS and the MTO. “

CMS Chief Executive Officer Ibrahim Abou Taleb offered, “Our success has always been through the integration and consultation with all levels of government.  The assembly validates the interest and support CMS has received from so many agencies that are committed to helping us achieve our objectives – by providing a safe and efficient mobilization plan that has truly captured the experiences of everyone involved in our TMP.”

Tom Kuchyt, Chief Administrative Officer, The Town of Fort Erie was very pleased with the outcome.  “This was a great and very exciting day for The Town of Fort Erie and Canadian Motor Speedway. There are major hurdles in projects of this size. Getting through planning approval stages, getting infrastructure to the site, and certainly traffic management are the three main areas.  We’ve had many meetings with the MTO to discuss the traffic management plan. We’re just now crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s. This was a fabulous group at this meeting. All the stakeholders came together to get a consensus on moving forward, and we’re very close. The MTO, Border Customs, the OPP, The Niagara Region, everybody participated.  I think everybody left this meeting in support of the CMS Traffic Management Plan.”

CMS is now in the process of formal submission of its site plan to The Town of Fort Erie which incorporates the parameters established in the TMP. Approvals are expected over the next few months.

Meanwhile, the orientation of the ¾ mile oval track on the site has been finalized, while 4-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon continues to work with CMS architects (IBI Group) on design refinements.

The plan is still on schedule to have permits issued to allow heavy equipment back on the site this summer for major excavation, with opening projected for 2018 barring approval delays.

Tomas Tales: Azhar Mohammad’s Latest CMS Progress Report on Raceline Radio!

Raceline_Logo jpegCMS Executive Director Azhar Mohammad gives us the latest progress report on the Canadian Motor Speedway project in another exclusive interview on The Raceline Radio Network across Canada!

Here’s a link to the Raceline Page at Sportsnet.ca where Raceline is podcasted.
Azhar’s interview is in the second guest segment.

http://www.sportsnet.ca/590/raceline-radio/

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