Traffic planning for President's Cup
One of Australia's largest international sporting events for 1998, the President's Cup, saw hundreds of buses and thousands of cars ferry daily up to 22,000 people to the event. Held in December at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Victoria's Bayside Council, the President's Cup attracted the 12 best American and international players to compete in a three day teams event.
This was the first time in its four year history the event has been played outside the US. Bayside's Chief Executive Officer, Peter Akers, said the tournament presented Council with massive traffic and parking management issues.
"As a Council we had to balance the needs of our local residents and the requirements of this major international sporting event," he said. "Council recognised the economic spin offs from the tournament to local business but we also acknowledged the impact on local residents from an increase of traffic on local roads and pressure on local parking in the vicinity of the golf course.
"If we were to minimise the impact on residents and protect their local amenity it was important for us to be involved from the start in managing traffic and parking."
Consequently, Council became a member of The President's Cup Transport and Traffic Committee. This also comprised the Tournament Director, Police, Public Transport Corporation, Wilson Parking, Melbourne Bus Link, Murray Coaches, VicRoads and The President's Cup Travel Office.
The Committee developed a detailed plan addressing mobility requirements, internal and external access to the site, and traffic issues in surrounding areas. In implementing the plan, Bayside City Council was responsible for directional signage, shuttle buses, visitor parking facilities, parking restrictions, road closures and residential permit parking.
Council also undertook an extensive communications campaign to advise residents and visitors of the traffic conditions.
"The traffic and transport management plan was a great success with minimal traffic congestion, a major reduction in parking infringements and compliments from the golfing fraternity," Peter Akers said.
Former Captain of the Royal Melbourne Metropolitan Golf Club, Geoffrey Sinclair, who has managed major golfing tournaments, such as the Australian and Victorian Golf Opens, wrote to Council that it is to be congratulated for its willingness to participate and for its contribution to 'what must surely have shown Melbourne as the sporting mecca, capable of staging an event of world significance in a manner which I cannot imagine being surpassed'.