Crowd Control Barricades & Traffic Barriers Guide
On our site, we’ve got a lot of products labeled “steel barricades” and “barriers”, but they aren’t all the same by any means. Some are plastic, others are metal, some are hollow and meant to be filled with water or sand, others are just a framework with vertical bars…so which one should you use in your particular application? Never fear, we’re here to make the selection process a little less fuzzy.
First, let’s look at which barricades work best when you’re trying to direct crowds of people, rather than vehicles. In these scenarios, “fence” style metal barricades are usually a good bet. They’re a great option for venues like sports arenas, fairs, concerts…anywhere you’re anticipating large crowds of people.
A GREAT OPTION FOR ANYWHERE YOU’RE ANTICIPATING LARGE CROWDS OF PEOPLE.
These barricades look like a fence: vertical metal bars in a framework with a base to help it stand up. They’re portable and can hook together to form a continuous line to direct your crowds where you wish, or create a perimeter to section off areas you don’t want people to access. Their bases are “feet”, and for added stability the flat-footed options often feature holes to bolt them into the pavement (though this solution is a bit more permanent).
There are also plastic barricades that follow the same basic structure and design as metal barricades: frame, feet, vertical bars, interlocking hooks; however, these barriers are more lightweight, which makes them easier to reconfigure and take down, and their plastic construction also makes them more weather resistant. There are alsoexpandable barriers, that serve a similar purpose as other fence style barricades, but have the versatility of fitting in a variety of different sized areas.
Plastic barricades are typically molded in bright, highly visible colors like safety orange, whereas most steel barricades remain the color of the bare metal. We do offer a powder-coated option for our steel barricades with several color options available, though there is a minimum order.
Often along under construction areas of roadways, highways and parking lots, vehicle traffic is directed byinterlocking plastic barriers filled with water or sand. Often these barriers are molded in a highly visible color like safety orange to provide easily seen visual guidance. These barriers are often called Jersey walls or Jersey barriers, which was originally a term applied to concrete barriers that prevented vehicle traffic from crossing into opposing lanes if struck.
THE INTERLOCKING NATURE DOESN’T ALLOW FOR VEHICLES TO SLIP BETWEEN BARRIERS.
While plastic fillable barriers provide a moderate level of protection and vehicle deflection in case of collision, they aren’t all up to the standard of concrete barriers. However, as a means of directing traffic, their interlocking nature doesn’t allow for vehicles to accidentally slip between barriers and end up in undesired areas.
Most plastic Jersey barriers are meant to provide a balance between the risk a concrete barrier poses to vehicle occupants and the gaps caused by drums and other delineators in construction and work zones. There is a federally designated standard for a traffic barricade to qualify as a “Longitudinal Channelizing Device” which must meet particular crash testing requirements.
The ubiquitous traffic barricade is most likely what your average person envisions when they hear the word “barricade”. You see them in just about every roadside construction area, these barriers are designed to be highly visible in all conditions (often with reflective striping) to clearly mark areas where traffic is not permitted, such as excavations or road constructions. In addition to being easy to spot, they are also lightweight, portable, and easy to set up. In the past, these barriers were constructed of wood, but currently most are made from metal, plastic, or a combination of both.
HIGHLY VISIBLE TO CLEARLY MARK AREAS WHERE TRAFFIC IS NOT PERMITTED.
There are three main types of traffic barricades. First is the A-frame (also called the parade barricade) which resembles a sawhorse. It’s referred to as an “A-frame” because it resembles a letter A when viewed from the side.
The next type is the Type I or Type II barricade. It resembles an A-frame barricade, but can be folded flat. A Type I barricade features reflective sheeting at the top, while a Type II features sheeting at both the top and bottom.
Finally, there’s the Type III. This type features two feet at the bottom that support two poles that hold three reflective panels between them.
Low Profile Barriers
Low profile barriers are typically used around airport construction areas. Their low-to-the-ground nature helps them resist being blown around by jet blast, prop wash, wing vortex, or other currents caused by aircraft, even without ballast to weigh them down.
THEIR LOW-TO-THE-GROUND NATURE HELPS THEM RESIST BEING BLOWN AROUND BY JET BLAST.
They can be used in non-airport settings though, in any area where you need to delineate an area as off-limits while still maintaining adequate visibility of an area. Like most plastic barriers, they’re molded in safety orange to increase visibility, but their height ranges from 10” to 24” so they don’t block the view. They connect with interlocking pins, allowing a modular set-up to be created with ease. Ports in the top accept solar-powered lights or flags, for an even higher level of visibility.
So there you have it! Hopefully, you have a better idea about which barricade you should use for your own applications.