Super Bowl teams get green light service around Atlanta

ATLANTA — A lot of football fans arrived in the city for Super Bowl 53 Thursday, and that means our roads are going to be more congested than normal.

Channel 2's Lori Wilson was inside the Transportation Management Center, where she got a bird's-eye view of the traffic around the city.

A team of engineers was using new green light software to move Patriots' and Rams' team buses through the city.

On Thursday, as the Rams' team buses went from their downtown hotel to Georgia Tech, where they are practicing, the staff in the traffic center made sure that they hit green lights the entire way.

They said it is a courtesy they are providing for both Super Bowl teams, but it’s also important to make sure that everyone around the buses is safe.


Matthew Glasser, the regional head of programming for the Georgia Department of Transportation, said engineers are using a combination of the green light software and a traffic playbook. The playbook determines how lights will be timed based on the event, the time of day and the number of people expected to attend.

The playbook has been used for presidential visits and even the college championship game, and will be used for concerts and of course, the Super Bowl.

"It's very similar to when you have a train coming down the tracks the signal turns red, so you don't accidentally go through the signal," Glasser said.

Glasser said the playbook idea came from groups like Renew Atlanta and Central Atlanta Progress.

"Everyone really came together and said, 'Look, we have a lot of events coming up and we really need to do this correctly,'" Glasser said.

Though they have a plan, Glasser said things could certainly change on game day.

"Our entire name of the game is 'flexibility,'" Glasser said. "We have our plan, but every morning at 10 a.m. we sit down and talk about what went well and what can be improved."