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Traffic management is a top priority, whether in a parking area, construction zone, school parking lot, or retail location. Construction workers must remain safe while they work, protection is of utmost importance in areas where children may be walking or crossing the road, and all pedestrians must be kept safe in parking lots. To improve safety where pedestrians or workers may be present, consider these important traffic flow indicators and markings.

Directional Cues for Navigational Assistance

Clearly label turn lanes, yield and stop requirements, and special traffic notices to keep vehicles moving safely and efficiently. Pairing upright signs with permanent pavement marking tape for communication can improve overall safety—and reduce frustration for drivers. Some common directional cues in parking areas and retail locations include:

  • Designating right- or left-turn-only lanes for busy parking lot exits
  • Creating visual cues to point drivers to the appropriate exit for their intended route
  • Routing through traffic away from parking areas to reduce congestion
  • Marking one-way traffic lanes with arrows and text markings

Safety Devices for Traveled Lanes

While visual cues improve safety, pairing them with physical safety devices can keep traffic flowing and prevent accidents. Keep traffic speed under control, separate vehicles and pedestrians, and complement directional cues in parking areas or traveled lanes with traffic control devices, including:

  • Rumble strips
  • Delineator posts
  • Roadway reflectors
  • Reflective traffic barricades and cones
  • Speed bumps

Crosswalks and Pedestrian-Only Indicators

To keep pedestrians safe, clearly mark crossing areas in parking lots using crosswalk pavement marking tape, traffic barricades, and appropriate signage. Similarly, ensure pedestrian-only zones are clearly labeled—and install barriers, if necessary—to prevent motorists from inadvertently driving through areas intended for foot traffic.

In addition to the perpendicular lines that designate a crosswalk, apply graphics and text to make the requirements clear. “Yield to Pedestrians,” “No Motorized Vehicles,” “Pedestrian Only Zone,” and other messaging ensures motorists understand the necessary actions, keeping drivers and visitors safe.

Pedestrian safety is important in industrial locations, as well as in public spaces. Consider any location-specific messaging in forklift crossings, loading docks, and parking lots to ensure pedestrians and vehicle operators are aware of traffic requirements and safety protocols.

School Zone Traffic Markings

Display traffic markings to indicate bus lanes, student drop-off zones, playground use notices, and parking information. When marking school zones, pavement tape and signs can be paired with other traffic control devices—including speed bumps, vertical barricades, cones, signs, and dividers—to improve communication for pedestrians and drivers alike.

The following traffic flow indicators may improve navigation in school parking lots:

  • Turn-only messaging with arrows and text
  • Student drop-off lane
  • Special instructions for visitors
  • No-entry notices for pedestrian-only areas
  • Cues to direct delivery vehicles to unloading areas
  • Reserved parking indicators for handicap spaces, school staff, or visitor-only parking
  • Mascot or school logo graphics paired with text to provide directions to sports fields

These markings may be created with pavement tape and signs or can be applied using stencils and parking lot paint. While each location has different needs, ensure all markings are in good repair and provide clear instructions for motorists, bus drivers, students, and any other visitors to the campus.

Temporary Traffic Cues

In the event of short-term detours or updated traffic flow, communicate requirements to motorists and pedestrians using temporary pavement markings and traffic control devices. To ensure new pavement markings are easily visible, pair them with upright signs, vertical barriers, and cones to get attention where necessary. Remove any contradicting pavement markings or signs that may confuse drivers, and use both graphics and text to ensure clear communication. Temporary pavement marking tape or physical cues, such as cones or barriers, may be necessary if:

  • Construction is temporarily altering traffic flow
  • Traffic congestion requires adjusting traveled lanes to accommodate, either during daily traffic or seasonal periods
  • Winter weather requires blocking areas or limiting traffic or parking to accommodate plows and snow removal
  • You’re applying parking lot striping or other pavement markings and you must close a section temporarily
  • A vehicle or other obstruction temporarily blocking traffic flow, requiring a detour

Traveled areas and parking lots require clear traffic flow markings to ensure all motorists and pedestrians have the information necessary to navigate the area safely. Each location has specific needs, so evaluate your situation, then determine which visual cues and traffic control devices will meet your needs. Visit our Resource Center for additional safety information and solutions.