What is it that drives you crazy? Denver Broncos team buses block traffic and run red lights
Ron from Denver writes, “What is driving you crazy?” I was crossing Broncos Parkway at Chambers Road when State Patrol blocked the intersection for several minutes as they escorted the Denver Broncos on eight buses running past Chambers. There were several officers in cars and on motorcycles blocking intersections, entering and exiting buses and obstructing traffic. First, who footed the bill for this? Does this include the use and wear and tear of taxpayer vehicles? What gives them the right to block traffic like this and go through red lights? Above all, it created a dangerous situation. I would appreciate some answers.
The answer, Ron, is quite simple: it’s about security. When you or I go to Denver International Airport, we have to go through TSA security checks. Since the team doesn’t fly like you and I, this process is different for the Denver Broncos when they hit the road for a game.
Going through the TSA security line at DIA is never fun. Imagine what it would be like to sift through all the equipment, coaches and players that make it to road games with the Denver Broncos. To make the process easier, the team doesn’t get checked at the airport, they bring them the TSA. TSA’s Lorie Dankers tells me they have TSA agents at Broncos headquarters in Arapahoe County doing the same check for team personnel that they would give you and me to the airport.
âThe screening process can take place in various locations in accordance with TSA requirements and regulations,â explains Dankers. “Methods vary, but may include the use of technology, physical search, or other methods to screen travelers and personal property.”
Most of the big sports teams have been using private charters for many years. TSA officially tells me that the charter airline the team hired is responsible for providing security screening that meets TSA security standards.
âThey work with TSA to make sure they’re up to these standards and TSA has the ability from a regulatory standpoint to inspect the process in unpredictable ways and ensure that safety standards are met,â Dankers explains. .
“This safe, efficient and environmentally friendly way of transporting the team to the airport is common in the NFL and all professional sports and has been standard procedure for decades,” said Megan Boyle, communications strategist. for the Denver Broncos.
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The reason for the state patrol escort is to comply with the federal requirement that after a TSA check, a secure perimeter is maintained and this includes when the check is carried out outside of an airport. In order to comply with the warrant, the Broncos are paying the Colorado State Patrol to escort staff buses to the airport for all road games. Typically, the detail includes four soldiers in branded CSP cars and one soldier on a CSP motorcycle.
âThe soldiers’ time is paid for by the team and we also charge for the use of vehicles, which includes normal wear and tear,â says CSP Trooper Josh Lewis.
Megan Boyle of the Broncos wouldn’t tell me how much the team pays for state patrol time and equipment, or for the extra security check at team headquarters.
The way the rolling closure works is for the lead soldier to pull out of the Broncos facility to block all southbound traffic on Potomac Street. Then the rest of the soldiers rush to the first intersection of E. Broncos Drive at S. Potomac Street to keep traffic in all four directions. Next are the team’s eight buses that turn right to head south on Potomac. Team buses will cross the intersection held by soldiers even if they have a red light. Once the last bus has hit the road, the first soldier jumps into his car and heads down the road, lights on, to catch up with the procession. The procession is authorized to pass any red light towards the E-470 toll road. The buses and patrol continue south, now along Chambers Avenue, blocking cross traffic along the way until they can turn onto E-470 northbound.
Once on the toll highway, the buses move to the left lane as three of the five soldiers, with the lights on, speed up to each next interchange entrance ramp to briefly stop traffic. enter the toll highway. The other two soldiers stay behind, also with the lights on. One soldier stays just behind the last bus, the other positioned to slow down any drivers who might think it’s a good idea to overtake the motorcade. I saw the last soldier mostly stay in the middle lane, but would drift left or right if a driver attempted to overtake the motorcade.
The buses exited the E-470 on PeÃ±a Boulevard, continued to the terminal but got out early at Jackson Gap so they could head to Signature Flight Support where their private charter plane was waiting.
âWe can block traffic briefly to keep vehicles together for safety,â says Lewis. âA rolling closure like this is less labor-intensive than using soldiers at each intersection to direct traffic. Once vehicles have passed intersections and onto the highway safely, we turn off emergency lighting unless it is necessary to use it again for everyone’s safety.
Bob Eller, senior vice president of operations for the Baltimore Ravens, told The Bleacher Report that all NFL teams undergo similar screening at the stadium after an away game.
âAfter the game, we are screened at the stadium before getting on the buses, then we are escorted by police to the plane. All airlines hire TSA-trained screening companies to provide staff and support. ‘equipment to properly screen travelers, “he said.
TSA tells me that people traveling with the Broncos on the charter are subject to the same 3.4 ounce or 100ml fluid restriction just as you and I are at the airport. The TSA added that the federal face mask requirement also applies to the team and anywhere in the public transportation system.
Denver7 traffic anchor Jayson Luber says he’s been covering Denver subway traffic since Ben-Hur was driving a tank. (We believe the actual number is over 25.) He’s obsessed with educating viewers about what’s happening on their disc and how best to avoid issues that arise. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or Podbean.