Park City protects Silly Market with barriers to stop a car attack
There is nothing silly about security along lower Main Street on Sundays.
Park City during the Park Silly Sunday Market on July 15 deployed protective bollards for the first time, shortly after the infrastructure was installed at intersections along lower Main Street. The bollards are steel barriers City Hall can manually post and take down for events on lower Main Street that require a street closure. The stretch of Main Street north of Heber Avenue is a popular place for City Hall to stage concerts and festivals in addition to the weekly Silly Market in the summer and fall.
Crews in recent weeks were seen preparing the intersections for bollards, appearing to drill holes in the street to house the barriers when they are in place. City Hall has not released detailed information about the installations, citing security concerns.
The bollards were a highly visible addition to the operational plan of the Silly Market on Sunday. The bright red hue made them stand out even amid the spectrum of colors at the eclectic event. The crowds seemed to mill about without noticing the added protection.
Mike McComb, the emergency program manager at City Hall, said the measures were successful on their debut day. He attended the event, watching a driver attempt to make a left turn from Deer Valley Drive to Main Street before encountering the barriers.
“They saw the bollards. I saw what appeared to be a pause,” McComb said, adding, “I believe they are serving their function.”
The bollards are designed to stop a vehicle from driving into a crowd. McComb has said they are meant to block a driver from intentionally steering toward a crowd in an act of terrorism or other sort of criminal act. He has also said the bollards protect against an accidentally wayward vehicle driving into the crowd.
The bollards deployed during the Silly Market were in locations like the Main Street-Heber Avenue intersection, 7th Street between the Main Street and Park Avenue intersections, 9th Street between Main Street and Park Avenue as well as the entrances to two privately held garages.
“They do stand out,” he said, describing the bollards as brightly colored and new.
McComb said officials plan to put reflective striping on the bollards to make them more visible at night.
City Hall was amid the procurement process for the bollards at the time of a deadly van attack in Toronto in the spring. McComb said at the time the bollards potentially could guard against a similar attack along Main Street.
The Silly Market over the course of the summer and fall draws large numbers of people to lower Main Street, an estimated nearly 180,000 during the 2017 run. Concerts and other sorts of events draw mixed crowd sizes.
Silly Market Executive Director Kate McChesney said the bollards do not present logistical challenges.
McChesney said the Silly Market also has used vehicles as barriers since the middle of the 2017 season. They were deployed in response to car attacks elsewhere, she said. Approximately 16 are used throughout the Silly Market footprint.
“We’re super-excited. It’s an extra layer of security,” McChesney said about the measures that have been taken.
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Arlene Loble served as the Park City manager in the 1980s, a pivotal period that prepared the community for the boom years that would follow in the 1990s. Loble, who recently died, is credited with introducing a level of professionalism to the municipal government that was needed amid the growth challenges.