When planning an event, a vital yet frequently overlooked aspect of that event is accommodating parking. This is especially true when converting a space that is not normally used for parking into a temporary parking lot. The following steps will help you organize the parking situation so that it is orderly and safe.
- Determine where the parking area will be. The parking area should be easily accessible from the event location. Have a clear estimate for the number of expected attendees. Your parking lot should be able to hold at least half of that number. If you have a long event, such as an all day street festival, where people will be coming and going on their own schedule, one third will suffice, though more is better than less.
- Clearly mark off the parking area. If it is very large, number some “zones” so that people can easily locate their car when leaving. Determine and label one or more handicapped parking areas. Make sure the area is wheel chair friendly and clearly marked.
- Designate a loading zone. Most events have professional delivery trucks and special equipment needs. Designate the best area for unloading. Block this area off so that the event goers do not park there. In case of an emergency, this can also serve as a parking space for emergency workers, such as firemen or EMTs. Be sure to clearly mark the loading zone and communicate its location to delivery staff, so that caterers and delivery vans do not create congestion in other parts of the parking lot.
- Determine the best way to have the traffic flow. Will the parking lot have one -ways alleys or will they be wide enough to accommodate two vehicles? Again, clearly mark the direction traffic should flow, as well as the exits and entrances. Designate areas where pedestrians will be allowed to walk. The key to an orderly lot is to clearly tell drivers and pedestrians what is expected.
- Hire parking attendants. Each attendant should wear a brightly colored