TAMC cures outbound traffic

| April 24, 2015 | 2 Comments
Jim Guzior, Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs Commuters can now use two lanes to exit TAMC. The newly initiated change saves time for those leaving the installation. Krukowski Road, which normally has two directions of travel, is now a two-lane outbound thruway from 2-5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Jim Guzior, Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs
Commuters can now use two lanes to exit TAMC. The newly initiated change saves time for those leaving the installation. Krukowski Road, which normally has two directions of travel, is now a two-lane outbound thruway from 2-5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Capt. John Pernot
7202nd Medical Support Unit

TRIPLER ARMY MEDICAL CENTER — In 1998, when the current deputy provost marshal was a fresh out of the box “private” reporting to his first duty station, it was a simpler time, here — at least in regard to driving on and off the installation.

“We actually had two-way traffic,” said James Ingebredtsen, recalling the easy flow of traffic.

It was a time of open gates and roads that were free of lane-blocking, orange cones.

It has been many years since 9-11, and inconvenience in the name of security’s sake is the new and accepted normal. However, when it’s taking 60 to 90 minutes to simply drive out the gates to face the heavy traffic of a densely populated metropolis, inconvenience begets frustration, and then Pandora’s Box is only a brake light away from being opened.

In an effort to increase traffic flow exiting TAMC, the offices of the provost marshal and Directorate of Emergency Services have initiated a traffic pattern change that took effect Jan. 5. They made Krukowski Road – which normally has two directions of travel – into a two-lane, outbound thruway, allowing twice the number of vehicles to exit TAMC.

This new traffic pattern occurs during peak hours of the expected afternoon exodus: Monday through Friday, 2-5 p.m., excluding federal holidays.

The new initiative has proven to be quite successful. Ingebredtsen believes the traffic flow is as good as it has ever been, estimating the time to exit the TAMC gate at the end of the business day has decreased to about 20 minutes. For some, leaving at the 2 p.m. hour, when the double outbound lane begins, the exit trip could be under five minutes.

TAMC continuously reviews multiple initiatives that may lead to solutions to the traffic issues at the installation. Nothing has been off the table so far, including an additional gate (extending the evening outbound traffic flow) to carpool/van pools to alternate parking locations, external to TAMC, shuttling traffic to the installation.

Ingebredtsen credits the excellent support of the garrison Military Police command for much of the current initiative’s success, but believes even more things could be done to expedite the process of getting patients, families and Soldiers off TAMC and back to their homes sooner.

“When everybody leaves at the same time, you’re going to have congestion. If sections in the hospital staggered the time of employees’ dismissals, I think we could really see a reduction in the line waiting to get off post,” Ingebredtsen added.

With an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 vehicles going through the TAMC gate, daily, and the bulk of that number being the staff of the clinic, traffic problems seem inevitable.

From the TAMC team that brought valet parking and increased parking spaces to the installation, two-lane outbound traffic may turn out to be a success.

“We’ll give it a try and see how it works. If we have to make changes, then we will,” said Ingebredtsen.

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Comments (2)

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  1. James Messner says:

    Doesn’t it get congested at the entrance gate?

    • Jim Guzior says:

      Hi, thanks for the note. The entrance gate gets congested at certain times a day but exiting all depends on time of day and amount of people being seen at the clinic. The new double lane does make things easier getting out – many have reported.

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