Pennsic Road Concerns


Many people who have worked on The Watch will tell you that road and parking issues are the things they seem to spend the most time on. It may seem picky, but there are health and safety issues involved, as well as comfort, esthetics and fairness. This may come off a bit hard, but I got to deal with these problems one year. It was appalling that so many people did not think of things I took for granted.

First let me address the esthetics and fairness issues. I think we all agree that, well, the camp just looks better without cars. That is why the rule is to get them to the parking lot in a reasonable time. If most of the folks, including folks with disabilities, are putting their cars in the lot, it is only fair that every one do it. It's just the right thing to do. (The folks running the show have the right to grant exemptions, of course, but those are probably few.)

As for the safety and access concerns, some things to think about are:

  • When setting up an encampment, plan for unloading vehicles. People are coming to camp for a while, right? For instance, group/household camp planners can make everyone's life easier using one or more of the following hints:


    • Designate a section of the fence as "drive through" and either use the area on the inside of it as a common area or allocate that as the place where the tents for the last expected arrivals will be set up. This way folks can pull off of the road to unload.


    • Set an area on a minor main road as the unload area and have a back gate there.


    • Admit the shadow walls are for privacy and let people take one section down rather than forcing them to carry stuff through the gate. (This also allows them to park off of the main road and not have to schlep stuff twice as far as the person who set the camp up.)


  • Do not encroach on roads used by busses or service vehicles with your encampment. Just because it is still wide enough to pass 2 small cars does not mean it is wide enough for the person in the Ryder truck who is unsure of where their corners are or the guy with the water truck. This is especially true when lord Generic parks opposite this spot to unload groceries. Also remember that if the service truck cannot make it through due to a choke point, someone's privies do not get cleaned or the dumpster is not getting emptied.


  • Do not encroach on intersections. Just because it is still wide enough to pass cars does not mean that the long pick-up or the car with the trailer can negotiate the turn. They will probably take out a tent, maybe your tent.


  • Park in close if you must park on a main road. Try to leave room for 2 cars if at all possible (it's not, but you get the idea). If you cannot and you are on the bus route, be quick about what you are doing, and expect to get some grief. They are not going to try to squeeze by, for which we should all be thankful. (Ever wonder where the buses are? They are probably down by the lake waiting for somebody to move their car that is blocking a bit too much of the road.) 
    Note - we also need to leave room for the tractors which the Coopers use to move people's box trailers, water down dusty roads, and haul stuck vehicles out of the mud.


  • Do not abandon your car "for just a minute" in a high traffic area. Aside from being rude, if it becomes a problem, it might be gone when you get back. Always assume that you will be talking for a while at the war (it always takes me a lot more time there) and park that way.


  • Please do not dump water in the road. If it is dry out, it makes a mess and if it has rained, it makes the road worse.


  • If you have an oversized truck or bus or a trailer, please use the oversized lot for parking them. They have had one for years. It is usually flatter than the main lot and planned with wider aisles. If you do not have an oversized vehicle, please do not park there, especially in front of someone else's trailer. The former might mean that an oversized vehicle ends up parked in the main lot, risking it and the cars around it. The latter might get you a stern talking to by someone with a trailer that costs about what your car does and is not amused with the options for hooking back up to it. ("...So I hooked up the come-along and dragged that Escort....")


  • Park as if you knew the folks around you. Try not to take up too much more space than you need and try to avoid parking too close. Yes, the parking moves around as folks come and go, but there are limits. Use some sense, less than 6 inches is probably not enough when trying to pull out on wet grass, and the rude folks who scraped their trailer in between 2 new cars were lucky that they were not caught. There is a lot of parking lot and the bus runs all the way, try to remember that rather than making someone else's life miserable.

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