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Evolution of the Crowd Control Barricade

Evolution of the Crowd Control Barricade

Think back to the last large event you attended – what did the crowd control barricades look like?

It’s likely that they were the heavy, metal bike rack types we’ve all come to know as the standard crowd control barricade. While these haven’t always been around, they are a necessary by-product of growing crowds and larger events.

First produced nearly 50 years ago to create safer spaces at events, the interlocking bike rack barricade had its day. But now, with bigger, pushier crowds, these heavy, sharp barricades pose a greater risk to individuals than they did at their inception.

Many years ago, OTW was approached by the Asheville Regional Airport in Asheville, North Carolina. They were in need of an indoor barricade that wouldn’t damage their floors or critical equipment… and metal bike rack barricades weren’t cutting it. They had used our low-profile airport barricade on the tarmac and were hoping for something with similar features: easy to deploy, small and lightweight, and, above all, easy to store.

OTW was up for the challenge!

We took their requests into consideration and added some of our own; we wanted something that was easier on the eyes than a traditional metal bike rack or safety orange barricade… and we wanted something that could hold signage as well.

Our goal was to create something that matched (or at least complemented) its surroundings, all the while guiding and safeguarding guests.

As our CEO, Leo Stanko, said, “I prefer to think of the barricades as guiding people, as opposed to controlling them”… this is what added signage can accomplish! Combine all these elements and the very first OTW Billboard Barricade (also known as a crowd control or pedestrian barricade) was born!

Image shows the very first version of the billboard barricade in gray, leaning up against a white wall on grass
The very first iteration of the Billboard Barricade

Absolutely a feat of design, the first OTW crowd control barricade was a success… but we didn’t stop there.

Here’s what our CEO had to say about the continued evolution of our crowd control barricade:

“The current Billboard Barricade is an evolution from some of our earlier pedestrian barricades. The initial idea came from function: ease of deployment, easy storage, lightweight, and easy on the worker – that was the earliest version.
Now, we have evolved to the Billboard Barricade, which is a phenomenal product that addresses all of those functional needs… but has a more favorable form. We can manufacture them in any pantone color and we stock a rainbow of colors, as well as black and white. This means that we’re able to provide something that gives that hoped-for color delineation to match a brand… or is green for entrance, red for first aid, etc.”

Leo Stanko, CEO

Today, you can see our Billboard Barricade at events across the country.

Many customers choose to customize their crowd control barricades with beautifully branded signage and the perfect color to match. The recent Fest Forums featured their logo on a stellar blue barricade, while the Irvine school district chose a bold yellow. Naiopoly, hosted by the Utah chapter of NAIOP, chose to pair their black pedestrian barricades with a custom “Welcome to Naiopoly” sign, directive arrows, and sponsor logos.

We are thrilled to see a dream brought to life every time someone places an order for Billboard Barricades, and we can’t wait to see what our customers come up with next!