Mixing Professional and Personal Lives to Benefit Communities

Hobson Freedom Park is home to multiple soccer tournaments each year.

Hobson Freedom Park is home to multiple soccer tournaments each year.

If you’re a soccer parent like me, you’ve probably invested many weekends cheering on your young athletes at soccer tournaments. And, if you’re like me, your least favorite part of the tournaments is the traffic you endure entering and exiting the tournament sites.

Now, imagine you’re a soccer parent who is also a traffic engineer. Instead of being generally frustrated about sitting in traffic, you’re irritated instead by what you recognize to be inefficient or unclear parking and circulation patterns.

Fortunately for LJB principal, traffic engineer and fellow soccer parent, Kevin Miller, he has the opportunity to gain favor with parents throughout the region by working to improve traffic flow for at least one local soccer tournament site—Hobson Freedom Park in Fairborn, Ohio.

Soccer tournaments have been held at this site since 2010, and as the number and size of tournaments has grown, the traffic woes to the surrounding communities have increased. To alleviate the problem, the park’s owner, the Board of Greene County Commissioners, contracted with LJB to study the traffic patterns inside and outside the park, as well as potential parking configurations on site.

The study includes a pre-event evaluation, a real-time evaluation during a tournament, and a final evaluation of the traffic and parking situations.

I can’t think of anyone better to perform this study than a parent who has both the professional experience and expertise, as well as the personal motivation to minimize delays for his own family, teammates and fellow weekend soccer warriors.

LJB’s project manager for the study, Paul Goodhue, has plenty of event traffic study experience, but hasn’t yet personally ventured into the world of organized sports. “All the families want is an easy way to get in and out, so they can cheer on their young athletes,” Paul said. “It’s rewarding to be part of improvements like this.”

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