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Multiple Uses for Traffic Control Barricades

April 9, 2020

Street barricades take on many forms, but fall into three distinct categories: pedestrian, traffic and expanding length. Here’s a look at the variety of different traffic control items within these categories, all of which are designed to promote public safety and be MUTCD compliant.

Type 1: Pedestrian Barriers

A pedestrian barricade is designed to separate crowds of people from motorists. Scenarios for this type of barricade include parades, street fairs, and large events where pedestrians mix with maintenance and security vehicles. These devices are typically six to eight feet long, made of steel or plastic and look like bike racks. In fact, they can even be used for that purpose.

You’ve probably seen this type of barricade at a concert near the stage or in places to discourage individuals from wandering. They serve as crowd control devices or as temporary portable fencing and can be set up and moved around quickly due to their light weight. Pedestrian barriers also establish walkway boundaries and guide people in specific paths.

Type 2: Traffic Barriers

Construction zones are typical places where you’ll find traffic barriers, which separate both cars and pedestrians from dangerous areas. They can also be found at accident sites and places where traffic is rerouted. Some of these barricades can be filled with water or sand to create more stability and a shock-absorbing effect when struck by a vehicle. Orange traffic barriers are often placed on airport runways, but can be used for other purposes, as the bright color is easy to see from far away.

Many cities and event organizers use smaller economy traffic barriers made of plastic or steel that easily fold up. They often cost a third of the price of type 1 barriers, which allows entities to purchase a higher volume. These stands commonly use a diagonal design with an orange and white color scheme, in which the orange stripes are reflective and UV-resistant. Despite their smaller size (45″ tall x 24″ wide) and lighter weight than longer type 2 barriers, they are made to be sturdy and engineer grade.

Type 3: Expanding Length Barriers

An expanding length barrier can expand or retract to fit entrances or exits, such as on freeway onramps and offramps. They are also often found at sites where continuous barriers are needed to block pedestrians and vehicles from entering hazardous areas. Type 3 barriers, like the two other types, have multiple purposes.

The three-piece A-frame barricade fits all three categories with the advantage that it can be disassembled, making it practical for saving storage space. The parts are typically lightweight for easy transport as well. They may feature orange reflective stripes on both sides of the horizontal panel. Whether they include single, double or triple panels, they are usually designed to be weatherproof.


Various types of barriers are used to separate foot traffic from vehicle traffic to ensure public safety. These blockades are necessary in places where pedestrians regularly walk, particularly in urban areas or near schools, road crews and special events. Contact Zumar at our Arizona, California or Washington location to learn more about barricades and other effective traffic control devices.

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