Farmers markets often play a central role in communities across the country.

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Residents gather weekly at their local farmers markets to shop for produce or specialty items, socialize with friends, or possibly even grab a coffee and a quick bite to eat. Typically located on highly-trafficked streets or parking lots, these events are blocked off to vehicle traffic so that community members can stroll freely throughout the marketplace. The way farmers markets are structured, outdoors and in a central location, is part of why they are so popular—but it also presents unique challenges to those securing the safety of the people who enjoy these events.

Unfortunately, both accidental and intentional vehicle incursions pose an increasingly realistic threat to places where large crowds gather in accessible streets. As has been made clear from recent incidents, cones and signs are not enough to keep vehicles out of pedestrian areas. Vehicles have crashed into farmers markets in Santa Monica and New Jersey, street events at SXSW in Austin, Texas, and into dozens of pedestrians on the Venice Beach Boardwalk, resulting in severe injuries and fatalities. In fact, after the incident in Santa Monica led to the death of 10 people and injury of 63, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a report recommending the use of “rigid steel barriers” to seal off farmers markets from traffic in order to protect attendees at these types of street events.

Limiting vehicle access to areas where large crowds or pedestrians gather is an essential and effective means of ensuring the safety of these types of events. For some cities, however, making streets permanently vehicle-free is not an option – sometimes these are busy traffic thoroughfares, other times they lack parking availability or need to allow delivery or emergency access points to business districts. 

One effective solution for this is to install retractable or removable bollards so that cities can temporarily close streets to vehicle access. Many cities are opting for these types of bollards to keep streets open to regular vehicle access for most of the week, without compromising safety during special events. Calpipe Security Bollards® offers numerous models engineered and tested to the highest ASTM standards; F2656 for highest security against high-speed trucks, or F3016 for passenger vehicles at lower speeds. The NTSB’s recommendation can be satisfied by either standard, offering flexibility to traffic officials while maintaining high standards of safety and security.

Whether accidental or intentional, protecting crowds from vehicle incursions during street events is a prominent safety concern for public and private decision makers. Bollards are a practical tool to keep pedestrians safe at fairs, festivals, and markets where people and vehicles are often in close proximity. Rather than line every street with barriers, a few well-placed removable or retractable bollards will offer security and protection while allowing passage for pedestrians and bicyclists to enjoy a peaceful and safe experience.

Contact the experts at Calpipe Security Bollards® for information on our complete line of affordable, tested, and effective products.  We protect the public at work and play, when shopping, strolling or enjoying the chance to relax in a safe public place.