In 2011 the City of Bloomington selected Alliant to develop a traffic management system to help with wayfinding around the South Loop District, which includes the Mall of America (MOA). Congestion had become a significant problem as traffic was known to overflow from the MOA parking ramps onto the local roadway system, and from there onto the interstate during peak times.
Alliant worked with many stakeholders to develop a system that now balances traffic across the roadway network and aids motorists to available parking on the MOA campus. This large task was completed in 3 phases:
- Freeway (completed 2011): Dynamic message signs (DMS) on the interstate system surrounding the South Loop District direct drivers to MOA access points.
- South Loop District Local Road (completed 2015): DMS on local roads direct motorists away from congested roadways and closed parking facilities.
- Mall of America Onsite (completed 2016): DMS located at parking ramps and on the circulation road surrounding the MOA further direct motorists to available parking.
“This project utilizes technology in a relatively inexpensive manner to manage congestion without widening roadways,” said Alliant’s Nick VanGunst, PE, PTOE. It directly impacts public perception of the South Loop area by providing real-time information and a better overall visitor experience. Another significant benefit is an overall reduction of fuel consumption and improved air quality as the overall number of vehicles circulating looking for parking is reduced.
All phases of the South Loop Wayfinding system design required innovative ideas and out-of-the box approaches, something that Alliant does well. “We are pleased to deliver this project for the City of Bloomington and the other stakeholders in the area,” said Bob Green, Vice President-Transportation at Alliant.
The City of Bloomington produced a video on the project that can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_8Bs6CmLng&list=PL283D22CC06E70E8F&index=1