Putting on large public events like Christmas markets, classic car shows, food festivals, and country fairs takes a lot of planning and organisation. And it doesn’t end once you’ve arranged the food stalls, security, PA system, decorations and the entertainment. These events call for special traffic control which includes traffic flow and parking.
You’ll probably need to rearrange the existing parking area or take over a section of property, such as a field, and turn it into a short-term parking zone. Employ as many volunteers as possible to act as valets or parking marshals to help keep vehicles (and crowds) moving smoothly and in the right direction.
You may need to block off certain areas that are out of bounds to the public, like grass verges, private spaces, pedestrian pathways, and so on. Instead of using unsightly barriers, you could use Malta rock---large quarry rocks that can be deployed in the same way as metal, plastic, or concrete barriers, but are far more aesthetically pleasing.
At a food festival, country fair, or a classic car show, it’s better to have barriers with a less industrial appearance, and because Malta rocks blend into the background, they provide the perfect solution. The rocks can be used to prevent unauthorised access, manage crowds, or to stop vehicles from getting too close to equipment and stalls. The rocks are inexpensive and come in a range of shapes and sizes that can be selected to fit your exact requirements.
Here are a few simple ways to ensure smooth traffic control at your event:
1. Create designated parking spaces
Maximise parking at your event by using marshals to guide people into a designated, individual parking space, or lay out temporary parking spaces using lightweight, portable parking strips, which are positioned across the head of each space. These can be moved easily and stored away ready for your next event.
2. Control vehicle flow with marshals and signs
It’s no good leaving motorists to randomly drive and park their vehicles in a congested parking area. They’ll normally do as they please. Marshals and signposts are the best way to direct traffic to specific places. In this way, a row of parking spaces can be neatly filled before another opens up.
An orderly parking system also makes it easier for people to remember where they left their cars. Use poles and Malta rock barriers to separate areas reserved for deliveries, catering trucks, and VIP vehicles from the parking area.
3. Control the speed of vehicles
There’s nothing more dangerous to pedestrians than speeding vehicles, so take control by using marshals with flags and high visibility jackets to guide motorists, or lay down some portable, polyurethane speed bumps. These are lightweight and can be removed when your event is over. These speed bumps have an added advantage – wires, hoses, and power cords can be run under them across the path of vehicles, so trucks and cars can drive safely over without causing damage to the cables beneath.
4. Define pedestrian pathways
The best way to direct bustling crowds where you want them to go is by defining pedestrian pathways. Crowd barriers, bollards, and sign posts will help. Bollard posts are normally made of plain metal or treated timber and can be covered with post sleeves, which look like high-end cast iron, but are actually lightweight, UV-resistant polymer sleeves. All you do is slip them over the posts and connect them to the chains for a more sophisticated look.
Make sure you display clear signs to the parking area and that the direction traffic should flow is clear. Along with a written message, directional signs should also include an arrow that points vehicles to their destination. Put up signs to indicate reserved parking spaces so that drivers can see these before they arrive.
5. Staff uniforms, flags, and batons
For safety and increased visibility, parking marshals should wear bright, reflective jackets, as this makes it easier for drivers to find someone to ask for directions or to be guided to the parking area. Marshals directing traffic should also carry flags or batons so that they can easily draw the attention of motorists.
6. Communication devices
Efficient communication is vital if you want to ensure that the parking system you’ve put in place is successful. If you’re hosting a really large event with expansive parking areas, you may need to equip your marshals with handheld communication devices like walkie talkies. This will allow them to make quick decisions and to refer to management if there are any problems like an overflow of vehicles, an emergency, or a vehicle that’s broken down in the parking pathway.
This article was written by Dakota Murphey, an independent content writer who specialises in the events and business management sectors. She's regularly keeping up to date with the latest trends in event security, aggregating various news sources and brands such as Malta Rock providers, Maltaward.