Traffic Management, Inc. Provides Traffic Control for Annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA
On TV, the annual Tournament of Roses Parade is seamless; dozens of flower-adorned floats glide down Colorado Boulevard as the audience cheers gleefully from the sidelines, ready to celebrate the New Year.
But what the television crews don’t capture is the complexity behind the logistics of a 5.5-mile parade in the heart of a congested city. That’s where Traffic Management, Inc. (TMI®)’s expertise comes in.
Headquartered in Long Beach, CA, TMI is the leading national traffic control service provider. Partnering with the Tournament of Roses Committee for over a decade, TMI provides road closures, detours and crowd control for thousands of attendees.
“It is much more complicated than what appears on television,” TMI’s SVP of Continuous Improvement Mike Sprouse said. “Variables are constantly changing. New buildings, different ingress or egress requirements and evolving security issues are all considered.”
With Sprouse as the designated Project Manager for the event, TMI utilizes 15 skilled traffic controllers with specialized training and over a dozen fleet vehicles to perform the various complex road closures and crowd control to keep things moving safely and efficiently. Split into three teams, TMI’s crews set up and prepare for most of the closures the night before the parade.
“The crews return early the following morning so we’re all in the right place at the right time.” Sprouse said. “After that, it’s just moving manpower and people.”
In addition to TMI’s expertise services, the parade requires meticulously coordinated efforts from the Pasadena Police Department, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security and hundreds of volunteers months in advance.
“We attend all of the meetings in which we liaise with any and all of the various entities,” says Sprouse.
These meetings are designed to smooth out any speedbumps or jurisdictional quirks in the planning process. For example, part of the staging area for the parade floats takes place on Pasadena Avenue, which is owned by the State of California. Since the City has no jurisdiction over this area, TMI is able to pull the permits to close the street down for the event. Dozens of new, unique situations like this pop up each year; the involved parties address it well in advance to ensure the event runs as smoothly as possible.
Is it ever perfect?
“No,” laughs Mike. “But all our preparation and years of experience guarantee that we can tackle just about any issue.”
Once the parade is over, TMI’s traffic controllers reverse the crowd control flow to divert the attendees out of the area.
“We plan everything so that we’re gone by 1 p.m. and no one knew we were there,” Sprouse said. “And that’s how we like it. A project conducted smoothly, safely, and as anonymously as possible.”
At the end of the day, it is a job well done if everyone gets home safely. TMI is Serious About Safety.
Traffic Management, Inc.’s core clients consist of contractors, municipalities, utility agencies and special event venues. CO-Founded in 1995 by brothers Chris and Jonathan Spano, TMI is one of the largest minority-owned traffic management companies in the United States with nearly 3,000 employees in 50 offices nationwide.