Home > FLASHBACK: DC TO TEST EVACUATION ON JULY4
FLASHBACK: DC TO TEST EVACUATION ON JULY4by Open-Publishing - Wednesday 20 July 2005
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DC to Test Evacuation on July 4
DC to Test Evacuation on July 4Sun Jul 3, 2005 19:45
Washington to test evacuation on July 4
WASHINGTON, July 2 (UPI) — Officials in Washington, D.C., plan to use the July Fourth crowd watching fireworks on the National Mall to test the city’s emergency evacuation system.
Thousands of people are expected to come to the mall for a concert and fireworks, the Washington Post reports. Fifteen minutes after the show ends, police officers will direct drivers to seven evacuation routes where red and green traffic signals will be extended to four minutes each.
Douglas Noble, chief traffic engineer for the Transportation Department, told the Post engineers will observe the flow of departing visitors from a command post, using 50 television cameras to relay information. They will be able to alter traffic light patterns using laptop computers.
"We will have collected information in terms of how well this works in getting people out of the city," Noble said.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.
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Sunday, July 3, 2005 10:08 a.m. EDT
D.C. to Test Evacuation Plan
When July 4 festivities wear down tomorrow evening, police in the nation’s capital will test an emergency evacuation plan by directing hundreds of thousands of pedestrians and motorists to seven evacuation routes, says a report in the Washington Post.
Green and red traffic signals will run longer along the selected routes in accordance with a plan developed in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The first test of the downtown emergency evacuation plan is expected to clear the Mall of most Fourth of July celebrators within an hour of kicking off.
"A good majority of people will be out of there in that time span," said Douglas Noble, chief traffic engineer for the D.C. Department of Transportation.
City officials have erected special signs on streets along the routes directing drivers to the Capital Beltway.
"We are trying to educate people that in the event of an unfortunate emergency, these are the routes you would use," DOT spokesman Bill Rice said.
According to the Post report, experts say they knew of no other major U.S. city that has recently tested emergency evacuation routes.
"Operation Fast Forward" will start 15 minutes after the fireworks end - giving pedestrians a window of time to walk from the Mall to Metro stations, hopefully clearing intersections of folks in the crosswalks.
About 125,000 vehicles are expected to travel downtown for the festivities, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.
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