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TravelSmart Special Events Planning Resource Kit

05 - Potential Measures - part 1

At a Glance

At the heart of a good access plan is a tailored package of measures that have been selected and designed to meet the objective.

Tailoring a package of measures is the third key factor for a successful special event. The first two key factors - understanding your situation and setting achievable targets - were covered in Sections 03 and 04. The remaining key factor - promoting a package of measures - will be covered in Section 06.

This section discusses some of the tools that you can use to support the use of sustainable modes of travel to or from your special event. While these tools have been selected because they tend to be the most effective, you may also find other good techniques by speaking with other special events organisers. We encourage you to talk to other events organisers and share your good ideas with others.

Pedestrian Facilities

Walking is a great way to get around for trips of up to four kilometres. It improves health, does not create pollution and is environmentally sustainable.

Remember that everyone will become a pedestrian at some point on his or her journey to your event, and therefore pedestrian facilities are important for each leg of the journey.

Pedestrian Routes

Special events tend to cause specific conditions for pedestrians because they concentrate large volumes of people at key points in the journey, for example at bus stops, train stations and venue entrances. It is important to maintain acceptable traffic conditions at these points and therefore effectively manage the flow of pedestrians.

You should mark the best routes for pedestrians within an appropriate walk distance of your venue (up to four kilometres) on your access map. You should show realistic walk times on the plan, rather than distances, because people tend to relate better to times when planning a journey.

Check the condition of routes you allocate for pedestrians to make sure that they are appropriate. It's best to organise for someone to walk along the routes and make sure there aren't any missing links, such as sections of road without footpaths, or major roads without crossing facilities.

If you identify any missing links in your site audit, you should work with the appropriate organisations, council or state agency to resolve them before your event.

Toilet provision and refreshment stands along the routes can also be considered.

Queuing Facilities

You could organise for staff to entertain waiting passengers and to keep them informed and relaxed. It may also be possible to provide televisions at key points to show relevant information and entertainment. This also presents a marketing opportunity and you may be able to gather sponsorship for the installation and maintenance of such a service.

You could give staff a printed summary of public transport services to help them answer questions.

All queuing areas should be covered with protection from the sun and rain.

Crossing Facilities

At any location where large crowds need to cross roads, it is essential that sufficient crossing facilities are provided. Your local police service will be able to advise you of the relevant facilities that need to be available.

If temporary crossings are required, you may need police assistance to manage the operation.

You may need to consider talking to the State road authority to explore opportunities to increase the time pedestrians have to cross at road signals, or increase pathway capacities by closing one lane of traffic to cars. You may also consider asking the road authority to notify road users of upcoming events through electronic signage.


If your event will be in an open area you will need to consider floor covers, such as waterproof mats in case it rains so that pedestrians do not get muddy and the floors do not become a trip hazard. You will need to make sure that primary pedestrian corridors remain free of obstacles.

It is also important that pedestrian routes are well lit if people will be walking to and from the event at night to increase security.

Weather Conditions

In the event of rain, people may decide to switch from walking or cycling to other transport modes. This may place extra strain on the capacity of these other modes and a wet-weather contingency plan may be needed.

You could investigate opportunities for local businesses to sponsor your event and provide free or reduced cost sunscreen or raincoats.

Sources of Support

We have included some sources of further information for pedestrian facilities at Section 7 - Sources of Further Information. You may also be able to obtain advice or support from local resident groups, your local council or pedestrian advocacy groups such as the Pedestrian Council of Australia.

Pedestrian facilities tend to be fairly cost effective to implement, although the planning time for temporary crossing facilities can be quite long. When planning pedestrian facilities, you should agree the type of facilities through the steering committee, which can take up to four months or more depending on the scale of event.

Cyclist Facilities

Cycling is a very cost effective way to travel and has a wide range of benefits including:

Cycling and Public Transport

Journeys of up to five kilometres are ideal for cyclists, while for longer journeys it's possible to use a combination of public transport services and cycling. It is important to check with public transport operators if you are intending to transport a significant number of cyclists by public transport because sufficient storage facilities will be needed for the bikes at transport stops or close by, or you may need to provide supervised storage space at no charge.

Participants in the Bicycle NSW/NSW RTA 'Cycle Sydney' bike ride are provided with free public transport to and from the event on CityRail trains by showing their 'Ride Guide' to attendants. Detailed information for cyclists intending to use public transport is provided on the public transport information web site and 131 500 telephone service.

The annual 'Around the Bay in a Day' is a challenging 210km cycle ride around Port Philip Bay in Victoria. For the event, organisers arrange for the scheduled ferries to transport riders between Portsea and Queenscliff midway through the ride. Start times are staggered so that demand for the ferry services is spread out, with average wait times for a ferry of around 30 minutes.

Cycle Parking

You should provide enough spaces to cater for the number of people who you identified would cycle during your site audit.

Cyclists are often nervous about leaving their bike in a cycle parking facility because of theft. Therefore, cycle parking facilities should:

Festival Map - Click to Enlarge
Festival Map - Click to Enlarge
Source: National Folk Festival

Valet Parking Systems

Valet parking systems can be very effective for special events. This system involves establishing a cycle compound with racks. Cyclists then arrive at the compound and give their bike to an attendant, who gives them a numbered ticket for the bike. The bike is then parked with the same number attached to the frame, so that when the owner wants to retrieve the bike, they simply provide their ticket to the attendant and the bike is returned.

These systems are cost effective to implement and the compounds can often be hired from local cyclist groups or cycle racing clubs - typical costs range between $30 to $40 per rack for installation and removal. The main cost is incurred through the provision of attendants to staff the compound during the period of the event, although like the National Folk Festival in Canberra it is possible to use volunteers who are rewarded with a free ticket to the event.

As with all the measures it is important to publicise the availability of cycle parking facilities and make sure they are highly visible on site maps. Some organisers have found that valet cycle parking facilities become more established over a period of two or more years, once they become familiar.

Other Cyclist Facilities

It is also important to provide facilities such as lockers for cyclists to store their bags and helmets, while at the event. These can be temporary lockers installed for the duration of the event, or permanent facilities installed in your building if you are responsible for a fixed venue.

Is it possible to provide shower and changing facilities for cyclists in your venue?

You could also think about involving a local cycle shop to set up a stand at the venue to offer reduced rate cycle maintenance and to sell common parts for cycles, such as inner tubes and batteries for lights.

To make sure that cyclists know how to get to your venue, you should make sure that quiet cycle routes are marked on your access map and site plan. Try to keep cyclists away from the busiest pedestrian areas to reduce the potential for conflicts and to increase safety.

It may be possible to negotiate with the road authority to allocate special cycle-only lanes along major arterial roads, such as the arrangements for the Cycle Sydney bike ride in NSW.

Check the condition of the routes you allocate for cyclists to make sure that they are appropriate and that there are no 'missing links'. Your local cycle group or shop may be able to help you with this to get a 'cyclists' view of things.

Cyclist facilities tend to be fairly cost effective to implement, with support sometimes available from volunteer organisations and local councils. You should agree on the type of facilities through the steering committee, and remember that some facilities may have a long 'lead' time, such as those requiring negotiations.