Tontitown Grape Festival Increasing Traffic Safety

By Joseph Holloway | jholloway@knwa.com

Published 08/08 2014 09:41AM

Updated 08/08 2014 10:13AM

TONTITOWN -- Traffic is a big concern for drivers and pedestrians near the Tontitown Grape Festival.

Drivers on Highway 412 have noticed people jaywalking across the highway to get in, slowing down traffic. But the festival staff says they're working with police to ensure your safety.

"Police park their patrol cars in the center lane and they actually stop traffic coming from both ways for pedestrians to cross," said Ryan Pianalto, festival chairman.

 But with hundreds parking across the street, pedestrian problems are going to happen. The staff says they've set up the festival in a way to make sure pedestrians cross in the best available spot.

"We have fencing along one side of the festival and the arts and crafts fair is set up on the other side so it sort of produces a natural funnel to the easiest place to cross," Pianalto said.

But many walkers slip through the cracks. Now, the festival is making changes in the future to alleviate those concerns.

"We're going to put in some more fencing, ornamental rod fencing, in front and probably redo the fencing that already exists," said Pianalto. "That'll actually produce only one place to cross, making it even safer."

With many festival-goers parking near the fun, Pianalto says the problem should be an easy fix.

"A majority of people are parked on site. It's sort of just the overflow that parks across the street," Pianalto said. 

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