Guides

Inspecting Your Parking Lot After Severe Weather

Severe weather is a fact of life. It happens all over the United States and pretty much everywhere else in the world. Some states get hurricanes, others get tornadoes, some get scorching heat, while others severe cold….some states get just about all of those things. Severe weather isn’t going away either, as our planet’s climate fluctuates, severe weather is on the upswing in most places as well. It seems every year, there is a new severe weather phenomenon. Polar vortexes over Canada and the Northern US, the Derecho that hit the Midwest last year (a kind of inland hurricane), and larger, more frequent wildfires in the West are all facts of life.

Anyone in the construction field needs to know how to deal with these things. Some contractors are making more resilient buildings. New construction methods are popping up that are resistant to extreme heat, cold, wind, and flooding. But what about paving contractors? What can we do to adapt to severe weather? Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make asphalt paving tougher against the forces of nature. One of the best ways is frequent maintenance. Part of good, regular maintenance is parking lot inspection. Read on for our guide to parking lot inspection for the after effects of severe weather.

Severe storms

Inspecting your lot after heavy rain and wind is important. Removing debris and looking for areas where water gets in makes the lot safer and more inviting. After any severe storm you will want to do a full lot inspection.

Clear debris

Obviously removing foreign objects from your lot is important; it clears up space for commuters, helps make the area safer for cars and pedestrians, and makes your business look cleaner and more professional.

  • Clear out branches, sticks, and leaves on the pavement.
  • Get rid of standing water.
  • Be sure to clear out your drains so that future rain will be able to make it to the sewers and out of your lot.
  • Look for other hazards like fallen power poles, signs, and building parts that may have been knocked into your lot. Have a plan to safely removing them (often paving contractors or construction contractors can do this).

Look for other possible future damage points

  • Is there a dead tree with big branches that tend to break off and fall in your parking lot in heavy wind? It may be necessary to remove that tree altogether.
  • Look for areas where water has pooled. These areas will frequently be where water gets the chance to get into paving and cause further damage.
  • Examine cracks and potholes. These are the main areas of water ingress. Other fluids can also enter by these means.

Extreme cold

Cold is a major reason for asphalt damage, because water inside or under the asphalt expands when it gets colder, and it expands more when it freezes. Not only can ice do damage to your lot, it creates a huge safety hazard. Icy driving paths and walkways are a major threat in cold temperatures.

Check for/remove ice and snow

You may have noticed a theme: water on a parking lot is bad. This is true whether the water is in liquid or solid form.

  • Clear snow off of your lot immediately. It poses a hazard for various reasons. It makes it harder to see markings, it is slippery, and it can cover even more slippery ice. Finally, snow will eventually melt….and that meltwater will make its way into your paving and cause damage. Snow may also cover other debris which can injure people and damage cars.
  • Check for ice and remove it. You can do so by applying salt or other mixtures that will mix with water and lower its freezing temperature. Ice is a hazard for the same reason snow is, but it is worse. It’s harder to get traction, and it is harder to spot.
  • As always, look for cracks/potholes that may have been covered by the ice and snow. Without treatment, these will only get worse.

Look for large uneven parts of the paving

Unevenness that appears in the winter is known as frost heave, which occurs when water is in your lot and goes through the freeze-thaw cycle. It causes chunks of asphalt or concrete to lift and break. It can also be caused by tree roots, but if you notice it after freezing, then you have frost heave.

Extreme heat

Heat causes expansion in paving. This leads to cracks. These cracks may start out small, but untreated, they will get larger over time and eventually become unsightly and dangerous.

  • Look for worn/faded striping. UV rays can damage painting and even melt it away. This makes your lot harder to navigate and more dangerous. Bright and clear paint also makes your lot more attractive and professional looking. This can also be a sign of oxidation- when UV rays make the entire structure weaker over time.
  • Small networks of cracks/uneven surfaces. A lot may not change temperature at the same rate, causing one area to expand while another may not. This can exacerbate cracking and potholing.
  • Tracking is when little bits of the asphalt aggregate become loose from the lot. They will stick to tires and shoes. Tracking happens when extreme heat melts the binder enough that parts of the asphalt become loose.

How to handle damage after extreme weather

If you have noticed any of the above-mentioned problems in your parking lot, then you are in the right place. Shoot us a message at Reliable Paving, we will be happy to fix damage and clear debris, any time of year. Regardless of the weather conditions, holes and cracks should be addressed immediately. Fortunately our services include:

  • Re-striping/painting.
  • Asphalt repair and pothole filling.
  • Laying new asphalt.
  • Full-depth repair.
  • We also use both hot and cold mix, so we can pave regardless of the time of year.

Keep you parking lot safe and looking good year round with Reliable Paving.

parking lot

Designing a Safer Parking Lot

7 Guidelines for making parking lots less likely places for accidents.

Parking lots are all over the US. Although they are generally considered safe and relatively uninteresting places, they are more dangerous than most think. In fact, a large amount of car accidents in the US happen in parking lots, especially to children, according the NHTSA (The NHTSA is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Many of these accidents are backovers. These are accidents occurring between pedestrians and vehicles, in which a vehicle reverses into the pedestrian. Other factors that contribute to parking lot dangers are that drivers are more likely to be distracted or at ease while in a parking lot than they are driving. This means there are more drivers in lots who are on their phones, their GPS devices, or otherwise not paying attention to where they are going.

There is no accounting for drivers acting unsafe. But what can be done to make parking lots less likely places for accidents to happen? Particularly, what can be done from the side of business owners to make parking lots safer? As consummately professional paving contractors at Reliable Paving, we are always looking for ways for our work to make people safer.

1. Ensure that the whole parking lot has proper lighting

This one is pretty obvious. When pedestrians and motorists can see better, they are less likely to get into accidents. There are also a few less immediately noticeable benefits. They include the fact that people simply feel safer in well-lit parking lots. People tend to avoid walking through or using poorly-lit parking areas. This means that businesses will pull in more customers at night if their lots have good lighting.

Additionally, not all lighting is created equal. Many businesses skimp on lighting so they don’t have to foot another bill. LEDs can be used to provide cheaper lights. Ensure that the entire lot is uniformly-lit, so there aren’t shadowed areas and corners. Uniform lighting applies to color too, it can be visually confusing to be in a lot with differing colors of light source. A nice, soft color also determines how well your eyes see in the dark. Finally, protect your investment by choosing corrosion-resistant fixtures.

2. Use 90° two-way parking aisles

As backovers are one of the main causes of parking lot-related injury these make sense. Letting people pull through spaces (two-way parking) reduces the need of cars to back up when they exit a space. Additionally, 90° aisles usually provide more room between them for maneuvering. Unfortunately, the added space makes motorists feel safer, so they tend to drive faster in lots with 90° aisles. Make sure to have plenty of speed limit signage as a complement.

3. Improve building frontage roads

These are the spaces between the parking areas and the store where pedestrians walk in and cars drive through. These are the main areas that connect the parking area to city streets. There are plenty of things that can improve safety in these areas.

Add bollards. Those yellow poles you see outside of big stores serve a purpose. They keep vehicles from driving into them. It’s estimated around 60 accidents of this type occur per day around the country.

Widen frontage roads. When cars are parked too closely to the storefronts, it’s harder to see where other vehicles and pedestrians are coming from.

Add speed bumps. These serve to remind vehicles that pedestrians are in the area.

Pedestrian crossings with signage should be included.

4. Raised islands at parking row ends

Even if the spaces are two-way, raised islands at the ends is a good idea. They prevent illegal parking at row ends, thus ensuring more room to drive and better visibility. Both of the benefits from raised islands are conferred to pedestrians and drivers. 

5. Place parking behind buildings

This enables pedestrians to walk right up to the business without having to go through the lot. Simply taking out or decreasing the driver-pedestrian interaction makes the lot safer for everyone.

6. Control traffic in the lot

Keep things simple and running smoothly, and accidents will decrease. There are a few things we can do to ensure that traffic flows safely. Not only is controlling traffic good for safety, but it also results in vehicles and pedestrians entering and exiting more quickly. This frees up parking spaces more quickly for new customers, and can lead to a faster rate of business.

Have clearly marked, separate entrances and exits.

Speed bumps (not just on frontage roads).

Ensure your lines/painting on the asphalt is clear and not degraded.

One-directional traffic lanes between parking aisles.

7. Excellent signage

One simple improvement that can be applied to just about every step in making parking lots safer is to add or improve your signage. Proper signs and directions don’t just apply to painting on the asphalt paving, but also everywhere else.

  • Have signs for walkways.
  • Ensure your asphalt lines and painting are clear.
  • Speed limit signs posted at entrances and throughout the lot.
  • Disabled parking spaces are clearly posted with signs and painted spots.
  • Entrances and exits are clearly marked.
  • Driving directions are from signs.
  • Signs telling you where you are not allowed to park.
  • Signs should be clear, undamaged, and well-lit.

Pave smart, pave safely

At Reliable Paving, we’ve been doing this for a long time. With over 35 years of experience under our belts, and a large, professional team of over 200, we are up to just about any asphalt paving job. Our services include not only paving, but also lot maintenance and care. We can re-stripe, repair asphalt, ensure ADA compliance, and much more. Your business is an investment, and the parking lot is often the first thing that customers will experience when they come to you. Ensure it’s as safe and as good of shape as it can be with us. If you want to build a safe parking area, or you want to modify yours to be safer, don’t hesitate to call us today.

What Are Commercial Property Managers Responsible For?

11 Responsibilities of commercial property managers.

A property manager for a commercial space has quite a few different responsibilities. Commercial properties vary in nature, but a manager for these areas still has a fairly similar set of jobs to do. Generally, a commercial property is defined as a place where renters pay a landlord to either live or conduct business. Commercial properties include retail and apartments, as well as businesses providing services. As a rule, you can expect commercial property managers to do much work with renters.

An owner hires a commercial property manager when s/he wishes to outsource the day-to-day work of dealing with renters and the property. The manager will thus take care of the property. S/he will handle problems between renters and other renters, as well as the landlord. Finally, the manager will ensure everything is in accordance with the law.

1. Property maintenance

Taking care of the property is one of the main responsibilities of a commercial property manager. This job ensures that the property stays in good condition and is safe. The job includes not only making sure that the property itself retains its high quality. A manager must also make sure renters are observing occupancy laws such as the number of people and the cleanliness of a space. In some climates, maintenance also includes snow removal, flood mitigation, and fixing storm damage.

Tenant-related responsibilities

Of course, nearly everything a property manager does is tenant-related. However, the jobs that s/he must do specifically for and regarding tenants can be broken down into a few different and important categories.

2. Rent

One could argue that this is actually 3 separate responsibilities. The property manager must set, collect, and adjust rent. Collecting rent is arguably the main responsibility of any landlord. Without rental income, there is no budget to maintain the property. A property manager must set up a system to collect rent, such as a website for paying or simply and address to send checks. Also, they must include deadlines as well as punishments for late payments. Finally, s/he needs to have some system in place to know who has paid rent and when.

A good property manager will also need to know the market to set rental rates competitively. This may include increasing or decreasing rent according to property values.

3. Tenant screening

Before a tenant can move into a commercial property, the manager must perform some due diligence. This can include a credit check, employment confirmation, past work experience, and more. Screening is done to prevent frequent tenant turnover.

4. Managing tenant turnover

Regardless of how good the screening is and how favorable the property is, there will be some tenant turnover. It is the property manager’s job to ensure a smooth transition of one tenant out of the property and the next one into it. This means having a rental agreement with clear moving in and out dates. It also means ensuring the apartment is clean, safe, and ready for the next tenant to move in.

5. Managing tenant complaints

When tenants complain, it’s the property manager who gets to figure out a solution. It could be a broken vending machine in the building, or an apartment having loud parties. Either way, it’s the property manager’s job to listen to complaints from tenants, and solve them. These complaints may usually be banal, but they also may involve handling emergencies. If tenants lodge a complaint about an unsafe part of the property that goes ignored, someone could be hurt or killed. That accident would then be the property manager’s fault.

6. Bringing in new tenants

Property managers, especially in residential buildings, are expected to bring in new renters. This means s/he should know the basics of marketing a property. This involves a bit of everything. The job involves keeping the property clean, well-kept, and attractive, advertising, a setting a competitive rental price.

7. Landlord-tenant law management

The property manager is responsible for knowing the latest laws for landlords and tenants. S/he must make sure that the tenants know and abide these laws as well. Laws that are important include lease contracts, property safety standards, and the laws regarding rent and complaints. Handling tenants who violate the laws is also a property manager’s job.

8. Managing the budget

Collecting rent isn’t the only thing the property manager does with money. S/he must balance the income with the expenses. They also have to spend money on maintenance, security, taxes, and insurance. Budget management is the main factor deciding whether a commercial property stays in business or not.

9. Building security

This can be as simple as making sure that each door has a working lock and each tenant has a working key. It can also involve managing a security company, and other built-in security measures.

Supervision

General supervision of the other workers at a property is another responsibility.

10. Supervising employees at the building

A property manager’s job is also the monitoring of building employees. Security, maintenance contractors, landscapers, and more are all under the supervision of the property manager. The property manager has to ensure they are doing their jobs professionally, while legally adhering to their contracts.

11. Vendor management

A good property manager needs to network. S/he will require an extensive network of suppliers, contractors, and tradesmen. This ensures the property can be maintained and supplied properly at all times. Even the most dedicated manager won’t have time to perform all renovations by hand.

For concrete details on a commercial property manager’s responsibilities, take a look at this job description.

Why hire a property manager?

Hopefully, after reading this, you can see the value in having a good property manager. Their job is to do the everyday stuff of building management that you, the owner, don’t have time or skill to do. At Reliable Paving, we focus on asphalt paving, ADA compliance, asphalt repairs, maintenance, and seal coating. We know how valuable it is to make sure your property is in good shape. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We are more than just paving contractors, feel free to contact us for advice on how to manage your property.

Guide To Speed Bump Types

You’ve probably seen — and felt, all kinds of different speed-reducing surfaces on the road. They all function differently, but have the same goal: getting drivers to slow down.

Bumps, humps, and those things that make your car vibrate when you drive over them are all found on the road these days. You’ve probably seen and driven over quite a few different ones yourself. As you have probably noticed, they all have a different look and feel. Maybe you are thinking about having some installed in your businesses parking lot or driveway, but don’t know what the best choices are. Well, then, you are in luck, read on for Reliable Paving’s guide to speed bumps.

Speed bumps definition

Speed bumps are defined as a “traffic-calming” measure designed to slow down vehicles. They are oft used in residential and school zones, but they will also be found in some commercial/medical areas, construction sites, and anywhere that needs cars to go slowly. They exist to make life easier and safer for pedestrians, cross traffic, drivers themselves, and everyone in general.

In the US, they are about 2-6 inches high and placed crosswise in front of oncoming traffic. Speed bumps vary in wide according to their type and uses. Smaller portable ones will be a few feet up to 6 feet (1.83 m) wide. Some asphalt-poured speed bumps will be dozens of feet wide if they are designed to cross an entire road or parking lot. The length of a speed bump varies as well. On a highway, you might see much longer speed bumps, designed to have an effect on large trucks with more wheels.

Materials

Rubber and plastic Speed Bumps

Many speed bumps are not made of concrete or asphalt paving. They are actually high-density rubber or recycled plastic. You have probably seen that type, as they are noticeable thanks to their bright yellow/black color in contrast to the brownish grayish black of the road’s paving.

Ultra-dense rubber speed bumps serve the same purpose of calming traffic with some other serious benefits:

  • They are cheap. They can be ordered online from specialty traffic stores as well as larger sales sites like E bay and Amazon.
  • They can often be installed quite easily, without professional assistance.
  • Rubber and plastic speed bumps are durable. They will last just as long as poured asphalt or concrete speed bumps.
  • Rubber and plastic speed bumps are also versatile, they come in various types.
  • Rubber and plastic speed bumps are a good environmental choice. They are made from either recycled plastic or recycled rubber. The rubber itself often comes from tires, resulting in more efficient fabrication using less resources.
  • Noise is reduced when using plastic and rubber speed bumps. They have a much finer surface than asphalt and thus result in lower frictional noise with the tire.
  • Speed bumps made from rubber and plastic do less damage to cars than asphalt. They won’t scrape or dent the undersides of car that hang low or hit them too fast.

Asphalt

Of course, probably the most common type of speed bump is made from asphalt or concrete. They are typically poured and set on-site, by professional paving contractors.

  • Asphalt speed bumps are easy to install when having the road paved the first time. They can receive the benefits of care for the newly installed road, such as seal coating. Additionally, asphalt speed bumps can have maintenance and repairs performed on them when the road is being cared for as well. They will degrade at about the same rate as the road, making proper maintenance for both quite simple.
  • Because they can be set when the road is constructed, they are often more economical than rubber and plastic, which have to be installed later.
  • Asphalt speed bumps are also often made from recycled materials. Asphalt is one of the most recycled materials on the planet. Almost all new asphalt paving in the US is made from at least partially recycled asphalt.
  • Asphalt speed bumps are easy to customize. Rather than having a single type that can be ordered from the store, they can be made to fit various different dimensions or tailored for specific road conditions.
  • More durable than other types of speed bumps. Obviously, asphalt is harder than rubber and plastic, thus, they will last longer on average.

Types of speed bumps

Temporary/portable speed bumps

These plastic and rubber bumps can be attached to the roadway at the tips and unattached when needed. Because they are usually placed somewhere that doesn’t have them, they are usually brightly colored to alert drivers who will not be expecting speed bumps in that area. These speed bumps also can either be made to fold up or roll up to be more easily transported when not in use.

Reflective speed bumps

Exactly what the name says, these are speed bumps with bright reflective striping. These of course are designed with the goal of slowing traffic and getting the attention of drivers. Places where drivers need to be extra careful, like hospital emergency room driveways, will often employ these traffic-calming measures. Some speed bumps are simply brightly painted over, others may have a reflective plastic element installed.

Oversize speed bumps

Larger speed bumps are often used in slower traffic areas to ensure that the traffic goes down to 5-15mph. They will be placed in alleys or in driveways to make absolutely certain that the driver knows that they need to slow it down.

Black speed bumps

Designed to blend in with the road, black bumps are often made from asphalt, but can also be rubber.

Heavy-duty speed bumps

These 6-inch high bumps are designed for maximum stopping power.

Paving professionals here to help you

If you are on the fence about what speed bumps you need, then why not ask the pros? Reliable Paving has been in the paving contractor business for over 35 years. We know everything from repairing and paving new road to re-striping, maintaining, and of course, speed bump installation. If you aren’t sure what bump is best for slowing traffic in your area, contact us today.

 

Parking Lot Angle Guide

Parking lots can have cars placed at 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90° angles. The following is our guide on which is best for your parking lot.

There’s a surprising amount of forethought that goes into parking lots. They need to be ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. They need to have visible and maintained painting/striping. Signage and lighting need to be absolutely clear and visible as well. Additionally, they need to take into considerations things like how fast people will be going, how many pedestrians there will be, and much more. One thing many business owners forget is that the parking lot is the first thing most customers see when they come to that business. It sets the tone for what the interaction will be like. A rutted, damaged lot will immediately put people off and make them more on-edge than a well-maintained visually appealing parking lot. You should keep your lot looking its best, because it leaves a good impression on people.

This guide is about what angle your parking spaces should be at. Parking angle may seem like a minor detail, something that only paving professionals and city planners care about, but it makes a difference.

What does parking angle affect?

Parking angle makes a big difference on a few aspects of your lot.

  • How many cars can you fit in an area? This determines how many cars can fit either in a parking lot or on a street.
  • Are parts of the parking lot one-way? This will be really important depending on the parking angle….in fact, one-way might be the only option with certain parking angles.
  • How much room do you need to leave for other cars to get by? If there is two-way traffic between the parked cars, then you need at least two lanes worth of space. If there is one-way traffic only, you can get by with less space.
  • How much space do you want to give pedestrians/non-motorists? People need to leave their cars eventually and go home or into your business. Parking angle and the lot design in general will affect their experience doing this.
  • What about safety? Parking angle effects how people are backing out of spaces, either into traffic or into the parking lot.
  • Is holding up traffic an issue? If traffic around your business shouldn’t be slowed down, this also affects what parking angle is best.

Important Stats

When we talk about parking lot angles, we will also throw a few numbers in.

  • Stall width/length- This is how wide/long the area the car will park in is.
  • Row- this is a row of spaces together. Its area is a function of the stall width, length, and angle.
  • Aisle- this is the area nearby the parking space for cars to drive in when they enter and exit the space.
  • Single/double rows and aisles- single/double refers to one-way or two-way vehicle traffic.

Of course, there are plenty more stats about each angle of parking space, but we figure this should be enough for a basic guide to the various angles.

For each of our parking stalls, we are assuming the following:

Stall Width: 9 feet.

Stall Length: 18 feet.

The aisle width will vary with each angle.

30° Angle

This is the tightest parking angle that most lots use. It’s often used because it provides better maneuverability and reduces delays of cars getting into and out of the spot. The tight angle to the road simply allows for easier access. Of course, the trade-off is fewer cars can fit in the lot total.

Aisle width: 12 feet.


45° Angle

This is one of the most common angles you will see in lots. It’s often in grocery stores, malls, and anywhere where a lot of cars are parking and moving. It can accommodate more vehicles than a 30° spot and thus is better for high-concentration areas. 45° is a great balance of fitting the maximum parked cars in a space while keeping things moving and ensuring that there aren’t major bottlenecks.

Aisle width: 13 feet.

60° Angle

60° Is usually the middle ground between 45° spaces and 90° spaces. It packs more cars in than lower angles, at the expense of requiring more space in the aisle and taking more time for cars to get in and back out. Because vehicles are at 60°, they still can get into and out of spaces with relative ease.

Aisle width: 16 feet.


75° Angle

Much like the 60° angle, this angle choice is for businesses who want cars to have an easier time getting in, but want to balance that with higher lot capacity. The trade off is that more space is needed for the aisle because more turning radius is also needed for the cars at a wider angle.

Aisle Width: 20 feet.

90° Angle

One of the most common angles, this is the best for maxing out how many cars can fit in a parking lot. There is no space lost at the beginning or end of a row due to the angle. Of course, the major trade-off is that a flat 90° angle is much slower to get in and out of. This means traffic in the lot will be slower, and pedestrians will have to be more careful when walking through the aisles. 90° Stalls also require the largest Aisle Width.

Aisle Width: 24 feet.

Need help building your parking lot just right?

Everything that goes into a parking lot’s design can be complicated and lengthy. The legal requirements alone are intimidating. So why not let a professional get it done for you? Reliable Paving is an experienced, quality-focused, and dependable paving contractor. Don’t let the cheapest bidder do your parking lot’s asphalt paving, you will just wind up spending a fortune in damages/repairs down the line. Let us pave your business’s parking lot right. We can also do re-striping, ensure legal compliance, install speed bumps, seal coat, and much more. Drop us a line today to find out how we can make your parking lot the best it can be.

Traffic Calming Strategies For Property Managers

Well-controlled traffic leads to a safer, more orderly, and efficient site

Traffic management comes with a whole host of benefits. Keeping things moving and moving well reduces road rage, results in fewer accidents, allows a business to have more customers and workers, and is safer. With fewer car crashes in a location property values go up. With more business comes increased revenue and the possibility of expansion. Less stress on the road helps ensure that customers to your business become repeat clientele. There’s no downside to having a good traffic management plan.

Read on to learn about what makes a good traffic management plan (TMP) for property managers and owners.

What is traffic calming?

According to the Institute of Transportation Engineers, traffic calming is a mix of different measures to:

  • Reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use.
  • Alter driver behavior.
  • Improve conditions for non motorized street users.

As you may have guessed, traffic calming is a way to slow and reduce traffic in an area. Even though much of the infrastructure in the US was created for automobiles, our economy, way of life, and cities are changing. As cities become higher-density individual cars have become less efficient ways to get around. Subways, busses, walking, scooters/mopeds, and cycling have all become far more common in recent years. Because of this trend, many cities and builders have started implementing plans for reducing and slowing car traffic.

Why is traffic calming a goal?

The goal of this is to create a community where automobiles are not the sole means of transportation. Benefits include connecting people more to the city they are in, and creating human-scale walkable, bikeable, and livable communities. Those who receive benefits from traffic calming include walkers, shoppers, tourists, runners, cyclists, young children, families, and mass transit riders.

According to the Department of Transportation Website there are numerous benefits to calming traffic.

  • Decreasing the amount of vehicle traffic lanes that pedestrians must cross.
  • Providing room for a median for pedestrian crossing.
  • Improving cycling safety by adding lanes for bicycles.
  • Providing on-street parking. This parking serves as a buffer between moving vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Reducing rear-end and side-swipe crashes.
  • Improving speed limit compliance.
  • Decreasing the severity of crashes when they do occur.

The result of traffic calming comes with health benefits to the public (according to the same DOT article).

  • Reduction in chronic diseases like asthma, heart disease and diabetes.
  • Improved equity.
  • Increased physical activity.
  • Improved safety.
  • Reduced motor vehicle-related injuries.
  • Reduced motor vehicle air pollution.

What are the basics of a good traffic management plan?

A good TMP needs to have a carefully-considered balance. There needs to be a balance of proper use of space. Consideration should be spent for the types of vehicles that will be using the space, and there quantity of vehicles. Additionally, pedestrians and the types of pedestrians need to also come into the plan’s factoring.

Essentially, a good TMP should boil down to considering the road and all users of that road.

  • What is required of the road, loading zone, work zone, road, etc. from the perspective of the people who will be using the area?
  • How can the area operate safely and effectively with normal traffic alongside?
  • Address possible conflict between the people who will be using the site daily, those living in the area, and those who are passing through. 

Although TMPs and the sites they are made for vary in complexity, keeping in mind what people need as well as the site’s function will make a big difference in calming and controlling traffic.

What are some specific ways to calm traffic?

The following are things that can be built on properties in order to reduce and slow traffic.

Lane narrowing

Creating single-lane roads makes drivers more aware of pedestrians and others around them. It also frees up asphalt-paving area for green space, cycling lanes, and other uses.

Corner Radii

Narrowing corners so that they are angular rather than rounded reduces turning speed and decreases pedestrians street crossing distance.

Gateway treatments

Heavily marking a turn off from a high-speed street to a lower-speed pedestrian-heavy street alerts drivers. It lets them know they are not on a highway and to slow down. This can be done with curb extensions, markings, and raised crossings.

Pinchpoints

Narrowing the roadway, especially at busy pedestrian crossings, helps slow down motorists and make them more aware. 

Medians and islands

These spaces give pedestrians somewhere to rest while crossing a road, resulting better safety. Medians also help better organize traffic at intersections.

Mini roundabouts

Smaller roundabout with tighter turning radii ensure that cars must slow down more to use them. 

Speed humps, cushions and tables

These raised areas help control vehicle speeds and make drivers more aware of pedestrians. Speed cushions can be built narrowly, so buses aren’t effected. These methods are proven to be effective at slowing taffic.

Pavement materials 

Using things like bricks, or asphalt coated in a different color makes drivers more aware of the space they are in. Unusual textures may slow them down as well, as bricks and bumps can cause slight discomfort.

Shared streets

By removing the distinction between pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists, cars are forced to slow down and respect non-motorized vehicles on the road. 

Ensure your property is safe for everyone

If you are looking for ways to calm and manage traffic on your property, Reliable Paving can help. Nobody knows roads like a paving contractor. We’ve been in the business for over 35 years and we know what works to make traffic safe, calm, and efficient. We can help you make your private property safe for pedestrians as well as help you work with the city to make safer roadways. Let us know today what you have in mind, and we can find a way to make your roads safer and better for everyone.

What Are Speed Bumps Used For?

We’ve all experienced that sudden jolt of accidentally going over a speed bump too quickly. Those little lumps in concrete exist to ostensibly get people to go slower… at the expense of their car’s shock absorption systems. Nowadays, though, there are a few different options. Each type of design used to slow cars down on asphalt paving has a slightly different effect. Read on to find out about the design of speed bumps and how effective they are.

Speed Bumps

This is arguably the most aggressive way to get a car to slow down. Also known as traffic thresholds, sleeping policemen, or speed breakers, they are designed to slow down traffic. The defining feature of speed bumps is that they are higher, and significantly less long than other speed-lowering mechanisms. As you probably know if you are reading this, the effect of going over a speed bump is a jarring experience when too fast. At best, it’s a bit unnerving and the vehicles shock absorbents take the brunt of it. At worst, for example in a lowered car, the car bottoms out. Important machinery on the underside can get scraped, damaged, or broken off. This is especially a danger for “lowered” cars, that have their surfaces closer to the road.

Specs

Unfortunately, speed bumps are used privately most often. This means that they do not feature specific design parameters. They vary in height, length, and placement. However, there are a few defining features in the US at least.

  • Height is usually 3-6 inches.
  • Length is usually 1-3 feet.
  • Width can be one or two lanes, rarely more than two.
  • Placement:
    • Before stop signs.
    • Before intersections.
    • At dangerous locations in roadways.
    • At locations that see a lot of pedestrian traffic.
  • Materials: asphalt, concrete, rubber.
  • Costs: $700 to $6,900. The average cost is $2600. This wildly varying price depends on road width, drainage, height of the speed bump, and its design.

Design purpose

Ideally speed bumps are designed to make cars slow down to about 25 miles an hour or lower, sometimes down to 2-5 miles per hour. They are mainly used on private streets and parking lots. Many public streets do not allow them.

Benefits

  • Aggressively slow down fast drivers.
  • The threat of damage to a vehicle is a major factor in slowing down drivers.
  • Easy to install and replace.
  • They remind drivers to check for pedestrians and stop signs.
  • Reduction of rear-end collisions.

Disadvantages

  • Slow response time for emergency vehicles.
  • May divert traffic to other streets that are not designed for high volumes of vehicles.
  • Can increase noise pollution for residents of areas with speed bumps.
  • Vehicle damage.
  • Require more materials, including signs, street lighting, and striping.
  • If they lose color they become hard to see for motorists. This means they can pose a larger physical danger to drivers and vehicles.
  • Cause problems for public transit vehicles (like buses).
  • Discomfort for drivers.
  • Can actually distract drivers.
  • In extreme cases can damage the spine.

As you can see, there are quite a few problems posed by speed bumps. And some of the reasons that they are effective are also disadvantageous.

How effective are they?

As traffic volumes increase, traffic accidents go up commensurately. In urban and suburban areas, traffic flow peaks during rush hours. From about 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM, and then again from about 4 PM to 7 PM, traffic is at its highest levels. During these times, it becomes extremely difficult to monitor traffic manually.

Speed bumps have their uses, no doubt, but where are they best used? What is their statistical benefit? Do they really slow people down over all? Well, the answer to that is more difficult than you think. Because speed bumps are used in higher-traffic areas, it’s difficult to measure. During bumper-to-bumper traffic, people are usually traveling well-below the speed limit. It’s hard to measure speed bump effectiveness in terms of traffic speed.

What we can measure though, are the rates of collisions in areas with speed bumps. Children are particularly at-risk from fast-moving traffic. They don’t know, or always obey the laws of the road, and they are smaller and harder to see. Finally, they are known for spontaneously doing things — like running into the street, crossing without looking, or jumping out from behind cars. An American Journal of Public Health Study found that when speed bumps are installed in a neighborhood, there was a 53-60% reduction in injury or death of children struck by a vehicle. Although that’s only one study, it seems to pretty effectively provide evidence that speed bumps do make a neighborhood safer.

Why are speed bumps important?

Frankly, speed kills. A study from Seattle by the US Dept. of Transportation showed that speed contributed to 42% of the city’s fatal accidents. That’s almost half of car crashes that kill people being related to over speeding.

What about other options?

If speed bumps feel uncomfortable, unsightly, or not effective enough, there are plenty of other choices. Crosswalk enhancement, speed tables, raised intersections, and more can help slow down traffic. These methods vary from less aggressive bumps, like speed humps and raised intersections, to better signage.

Make your roadway safer

If you are interested in making your driveway, parking lot, or private road a safer place, then Reliable Paving is who to call. We can install speed bumps, speed humps, and ensure that your signage and striping is as visible as possible. Contact us here today. We will be happy to assess your asphalt paving and figure out what the best traffic control solution for you is. If you want paving contractors with 35-plus years of experience, a team big enough to handle any job, and relentless customer service, go with Reliable.

Paving Scams To Look Out For: The Driveway Paving Scam

Follow our advice to avoid this common driveway paving scam.

Like many, you’ve probably received at least one cold call about some kind of construction scam. Cold calls for driveway paving, roofing, and more are common, and we can tell you how to avoid them. These scams work in a particular way: they offer to do a service, then claim they can not complete the service unless they get more materials, for which they need more money. Of course, they have already agreed on a set timeline or price. The consumer gets scammed when they have to fork over more money to complete a project whose price was already agreed upon.

The specifics of the driveway paving scam

This scam typically begins when a contractor shows up at your door or calls your phone. They claim that they have been doing work in your area and noticed that your driveway is in need of some TLC. Usually, the scammer agrees to give you a discount, because they are already doing work in the area and can use leftover materials to work on your driveway.

Here’s an example of what the pitch you might hear from a door-to-door scammer or cold caller will sound like.

Scammers take an initial payment and disappear

If you agree to their work, they will ask for a percentage of their fee up front. This can often be the end of the story, with the scammer disappearing afterwards, and you getting burned by the prepayment. Clients will notice that contact number or email address doesn’t work, and that the contractor will be cagey with details such as where their main office is located.

Low-quality work is the result

In other instances, the work does actually get done, but is sloppy and unprofessional. However, this usually isn’t noticed until the full payment is made and the work is regarded as “complete.”

More money than agreed upon is required to finish the job

In another variation, the scam needs more money to be completed. With the work partially finished, the contractor argues that they need more materials to complete you driveway project. Of course, in order to get more materials, they need more money, and that has to come from you. If the project does get completed, you wind up paying more out of pocket, and not receiving a discount at all. Companies that use this tactic are of course highly unprofessional and their work will reflect as much.

How to avoid these common paving scams

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to avoid these scams. We have some methods you can follow in order to do so. Remember to always be vigilant, and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Get quotes from multiple sources

If you notice that some of your paving is in dire need of repair, contact a few paving contractors in your area. Find out who some legitimate companies in your area are, send them pictures or have a contractor visit your location. They should be able to give you a quote (often for free), about how much your asphalt paving repairs should cost. This quote should include the whole price, from the start of the contract to its completion. They should also be able to tell you what each step of the repair process will be. By comparing the prices of different contractors, you should get an idea of how much your repairs will actually cost. This will help you figure out if that cold call about your driveway is a scam. If all the pavers you contact in your area tell you the costs for repairs should be 2-3 thousand dollars, then the one offering to do so for 1 thousand or less is probably not a legitimate offer.

Due diligence is a must

When you are going to hire a company for anything, find out what you can about the company.

You will want the following:

  • Contact phone numbers — and make sure they work.
  • An email address that works and responds promptly when you reach out.
  • A website. Look for a website with contact info, including phone numbers and a physical address of the company. Also, it’s best if the website is over 2 years old, as anyone can create a website instantaneously.
  • A physical office location. This way, you know where to take legal action to, if it comes to that.
  • The names of the owners/contractors who will be working on your project.

Get everything in writing

A verbal agreement means little, especially legally. Make sure that everything you have agreed to with the company is in writing. Essentially, you are trying to create a paper trail in the case that legal action is a necessity.

Pay through legitimate means

Any company only taking cash payments is a big red flag. Paying with a credit card is often the best, as the credit card company will be able to refund the money if the company does not hold up its end of the bargain. 

Never pay full-price up front

If a company argues that you need to pay for everything up front, it’s another red flag. A company should be able to provide its own materials and supplies, it’s not your job to buy them. It is your job to pay once work is done. Many companies will require a percentage to be paid before work starts, but not the whole price.

Hire a professional

If you need paving work done in the Dallas Fort-Worth area, then go with a company whose track record is reliable. Reliable Paving has been serving the area for decades, and can help you get your work done on time, and at a reasonable cost. Our services range from repairs to asphalt replacement, so we should definitely be able to find a solution that works for your asphalt paving. Contact us today, so we can get your projects started – and finished – sooner.

When Does Asphalt Need Repair?

Eight signs that your asphalt needs to be repaired.

No business owner looks forward to maintenance. It’s pricey, it gets in the way of the operations of the business, and having a construction crew working on your business isn’t an inviting look for clients. But there are still some telltale signs that your asphalt will need work done. Knowing when to repair is just as important as knowing how to do it. The following symptoms should let you know when to have a paving contractor work on your pavement.

Cracks that grow

Large cracks are an obvious sign that your asphalt paving needs work done, and small cracks can often be ignored. However, small cracks that are quickly growing into large ones are a sign that you need to fix the problem ASAP. If you notice that your pavement has cracks measuring over a quarter of an inch, or are quickly growing, then it’s time to call a paving contractor.

Fading color

Sunlight and frequent vehicle use can discolor your asphalt. If you notice that the paint is wearing off, and the black sheen of your parking lot has become a dull gray, it’s time to get it treated. Color wear is a sign that the pavement is aging, and aging pavement is more susceptible to further damage. As pavement ages, it becomes more porous, letting in water than will expand and contract over time. This results in much bigger problems that you should nip in the bud.

Moisture accumulation

If you notice that water or other liquid builds up on your asphalt doesn’t go away, then it’s time to have it looked at. As we have mentioned before, water is the main source of damage to asphalt. If you notice a lot of water building up on your driveway, parking lot, or other asphalt paving, then it’s time to get a professional. Lack of proper drainage will only lead to bigger problems later on, so you will want to get any drainage issues fixed quickly and effectively.

Crumbling edges

Crumbling edges are another telltale sign of impending asphalt failure. Once the edges start to break away, water gets another pathway into your asphalt. When water gets in, the structural damage starts. Another reason for broken asphalt edges is frequent vehicle use. This is a problem that will only grow worse with time, so if you notice it, it’s best to deal with as soon as possible.

Spider web cracks

Not all cracks simply grow in size. Some fan out from a common point. They start small spread forming a shape like a spider web, these are also known as alligator cracks and need to be dealt with immediately.

Warping

When your asphalt begins to change its surface shape, it means you have bigger problems deep below. Warping, buckling, and deformation are signs of too much vehicle use without maintenance, or water damage. As vehicles put a huge amount of pressure on asphalt, they can expose foundational flaws that need care. Water is another culprit of asphalt deformation. Water accumulation beneath the surface isn’t immediately visible, but as it expands due to temperature changes, it can cause the bumps and lumps to appear in your paving.

Asphalt stains

Paving is typically used by vehicles. And vehicles often leak. Vehicles can leak a variety of solvent liquids onto asphalt, from brake fluid to oil to antifreeze. These liquids are more effective than water and wearing away the surface and making the paving more susceptible to further water damage. They also wear away painting and striping much faster than water. Stains are also simply unsightly and uninviting. Your parking lot is the first thing people usually see when they enter your business, so you want to start with a good impression. Ensure your parking lot is clean, free of stains, and well-painted.

Sinking

Pavement often uses a compacted base of aggregate/crushed stone. If you notice a portion of your parking lot has become lower than the rest, it probably means that this foundation is beginning to give way. This can become a big problem as it’s hard to know what exactly will happen with the rest of your asphalt. Will it continue to sink? Will it eventually break? Will the whole asphalt area also sink and give way? It’s hard to tell from only one sunken area, so definitely get a professional to assess the problem.

What if repairs aren’t enough?

It may be the case that you need to start over from scratch. If you see some signs listed in this article, then it’s too late, and you should skip the repairs and go right to replacement. A good rule of thumb is that if there are multiple signs of failure, completely replacing the asphalt is a good way to go.

If you have any of these problems call a professional

If you have noticed that your business’s driveway or parking lot has any of the problems we have mentioned above, don’t hesitate to let us know. Reliable Paving is an experienced and professional paving contractor who can help you with whatever your asphalt needs are. Our services for the problems listed above include the following:

  • Seal coating. Covering your asphalt with a protective layer to prevent future water damage and damage from the elements is a great way to extend its life.
  • Asphalt repairs of various types. Our repair services include crack sealing, pothole repair, and resurfacing. We also do full asphalt replacement, removing damaged asphalt and replacing it starting with the foundation.
  • Parking lot striping. Repainting your parking lot makes it safer, look better, and is a great time to inspect it for other signs of damage.
  • Pothole repair. We also specialize in various methods of pothole repair. We do everything from quick throw and go repair to full-depth hole replacement to fix larger structural issues. 

Maybe you could use our repair services, or maybe it’s time to simply take out what you already have and start over with new asphalt altogether. Whatever the solution is, Reliable Paving has got you covered.

red volkswagen beetle parked at road side near pedestrian

The Factors Affecting Traffic Noise

How more than pavement surface affects the noise from traffic, and what can be done about it.

We already know that certain types of pavement can decrease traffic noise. But how exactly does it work? What are the effects on the people and environment when traffic makes a huge amount of noise in an area?

One of the most common forms of noise pollution in the US is highway and traffic noise on pavement. There are many costly ways to mitigate it, such as sound barriers. Using a different grade of pavement can also help. Rather than the types of pavement that can help reduce noise, we are going to analyze how the “grind” or texture of the pavement can reduce it, and what the benefits are, especially on highways.

Why is pavement noise important?

Pollution comes into our lives in many ways these days. There is air pollution in every big city. It is especially common in industrial areas where factories belch out smoke, whether in cities or not. Water pollution is another factor in most people’s lives. Anyone who lives in an agricultural area in the US is familiar with the copious amounts of water pollution that wind up in riverways thanks to industrial farming systems. Nowadays, microplastics are also to be found everywhere. Plastic doesn’t break down like other molecules. Instead, it becomes tinier and tiner, until it is microscopic, from which it can get into food, water supplies, and more.

However, one of the most common and annoying forms of pollution that people have to deal with is noise. Noise pollution is a surprisingly big deal. While it may not seem like a serious issue, its serious effects are many. On top of that, little is done about noise pollution, as highways are getting bigger and roadways are continuing to get built everywhere.

What is the effect of pavement noise on people?

According to an Acousticstoday.org study, more than 45 million Americans live within 300 feet of a major transportation facility. These facilities also include large highways that contribute to noise. In addition to interference with daily activities such as speech, the noise has been shown to have adverse health effects.

Health effects

Health effects of overly loud pavement noise include the following:

  • Heart disease
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Cognitive impairment in children

The World Health Organization concluded that at least 1 million healthy life years are lost in Western Europe each year due to the effects of pavement noise on the population there.

This is only the effect on people, not also the effect on wildlife and the nearby environment.

What effects pavement noise?

Besides the obvious creation of it from tires on the asphalt paving, there are several other important factors.

Vehicles

  • Vehicle type. Four-seat cars are the most common, but of course large shipping trucks and other vehicles alsoe contribute to highway noise pollution.
  • Vehicle volume. The sheer amount of vehicles on the road makes a huge difference.
  • Highways are louder because the faster one goes, the more noise a vehicle makes.
  • Pavement type. The grind/course of the pavement makes a big difference as well.

Sound propogation

  • Site geometry. Echoes of nearby buildings, walls, and more can worsen or dampen pavement noise.
  • Ever wondered what those walls by the side of the highway are for? They are to decrease the noise to nearby communities.
  • Ground effects. The landscape can increase or decrease car noise on the asphalt.
  • Again, differences in the air and weather can also improve or worsen pavement noise.

Receivers of sound

  • Human reception. If a highway is going through a desert, there aren’t people to hear it nearby, so pavement noise is much less of a problem.
  • Wildlife and the environment. This noise can seriously disrupt the nearby ecology.

Read this long form study on pavement noise, to learn more about what affects asphalt paving/vehicle noise.

 

Tire contact with pavement is the biggest contributor to pavement noise

No, it’s not the sound of horns honking on car engines, but the sound of tires making contact with pavement that is the biggest factor in creating road noise on highways. Roads are paved in different ways, on low-speed streets, it matters less because the cars and pavement simply aren’t as moving as fast in relation to one another. What about highways though?

There are 3 types of common surface textures for pavement

According to a technical study from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the following pavement courses (textures) are the most common:

Transverse tine

This is created by dragging a metal rake sideways across pavement. It was discontinued in the 1980s due to the noise levels.

Burlap drag

Used for lower speed streets and roads. This is made by dragging a moistened burlap sack over the pavement surface. This is less important because it is not used on highways.

Diamond grind

Diamond coated saw blades are used to saw off small irregularities in the pavement surface. They also create grooves in the surface for traction. This method was originally developed to improve car handling on aging pavement, but it was discovered to significantly decrease noise levels as well.

Ultimately, it was discovered that the innovative diamond grind was far more effective at not only rejeuvenating old roadways for better car handling, but also for reducing highway noise.

So what have we learned?

We’ve learned that pavement can make a big impact on the noise coming from traffic. Not only that, but the environment and buildings in the area do as well. If you want to decrease your pavement noise, or figure out what you can do to make your place of business or home less bothered by a nearby roadway, let us know.

Reliable Paving is an experienced and professional group of paving contractors who are thrilled to help you in your paving needs. Do you need repairs, restriping, or new pavement? Maybe you just want to learn how to decrease noise and make your place of work more peaceful? Either way, we are ready to help you, we have the experience, team size, and skills to make your asphalt-related goals a reality.