NCS4 Best Practice: Pedestrian flow

According to the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety
and Security at the University of Southern Mississippi:

The flow of patrons coming into and out of events is
something to be carefully considered. If new venues are not designed properly
there is the possibility of creating difficult situations for the flow of fans.
With older preexisting venues, there may be a need to look at potentially
redesigning or retrofitting venues to create a better flow. When looking at the
setup of the facility, take into consideration designing wide and unobstructed,
ramps, walkways, and concourses in and around the seating bowl. Whenever
possible, ramps should be used in place of stairs. By using ramps there will be
less stress on patrons and allow for efficient crowd egress in the event of
evacuations. Along with less stress, each ramp will be accessible by
wheelchairs and small vehicles if necessary. In addition, these wide areas
within the bowl can potentially provide shelter. Another way to help with
accessible movement is through elevators and escalators. There are positives
and negatives when implementing each type of equipment. Some of the positives
and negatives are:

POSITIVES • Great when in good working order and maintained
– patrons like them • Quick people movers especially unloading

NEGATIVES • Power outages, maintenance, and repairs • Force patrons to use alternative routes when they are inoperable or shutdown (i.e. evacuation and power loss) • Not typically available for evacuation Each of these types of equipment helps keep the flow simple and provide potential alternatives than the traditional forms of ramps and stairs. Computer simulations can help demonstrate various implications of pedestrian movements through different modes and under different conditions. The different simulations will allow venue staff and management to see potential scenarios. By seeing the scenarios, there is the ability to consider crowd management issues up-front related to evacuation/shelter-in place, queuing, and other issues. When considering these situations, don’t forget to consider patrons with special needs. There is a need to pay close attention to the areas immediately adjacent to exits where people will go or mingle during an evacuation/sheltering-in-place/relocation. Be sure to remove all chokepoints wherever possible. Along with removing chokepoints, consider using visual aids (i.e. video/electronic signage) to direct patrons. The ability to effectively and efficiently move guests will be the difference in creating safer environment. For more information on the Best Practices, download the 2018 editions of the NCS4 Safety and Security Best Practices Guides here