I’ll be the first to admit, temporary traffic management is not my area of expertise. I’m an ideas person, a creative, a dreamer, and have a knack of making words sound good on a page. So, nine years ago I resigned from my job in an advertising agency to work alongside my husband Dave in our new TTM business – Parallaxx. Crazy right? Not so much – remember, I can sniff out a good idea from a mile away – Parallaxx was what the TTM industry didn’t know it was missing.
In the past when friends and family asked what I did for a living it was easy to answer – “see that billboard/packaging/TV advert – I made that/designed that/wrote that” they got it – easy. Now, “I own a temporary traffic management company” got me a blank stare or a confused look, followed by me trying my best to explain what it is we do exactly and usually failing miserably
You see, most people outside of the TTM industry see traffic management as simply cones and signs on the road – but those of us in the industry know that there is much more to it than that.
Now I know that I’m more qualified* to talk about the history of Helvetica, how Comic Sans is not an acceptable typeface and the correct hierarchy of graphic elements on a page – but please bear with me as I do my best to describe the TTM industry, how we can best explain it to our friends and family, and the role that Parallaxx plays.
The TTM industry:
Everyday asset owners like councils or utility providers have to work in the road corridor to maintain their assets or build new ones. This can range from connecting new broadband to a house, to a significant motorway junction upgrade, to installing new speed humps. The challenge is all of these things have an impact on normal use of the road. Whenever any of these activities happen, the road users and the road workers need to have a safe environment in which to co-exist. The measures taken to ensure safety for everyone involved is called temporary traffic management (TTM).
The goal at Parallaxx is to orchestrate safe worksites. From planning to execution, we seek to be masters of balancing the competing needs of contractors, road users and other stakeholders – so the work gets done and everyone goes home safely. There are many considerations to be made, such as how these safe environments get installed and removed – how do they interact with the permanent safety measures of the road? How do locals maintain access? How do contractors come and go? All the way down to, how does a wheelchair navigate this space safely?
What may seem straightforward to an uninformed member of the public has an extensive risk assessment and deliberate application of various controls behind it. In order to orchestrate these safe worksites, we need to partner with our clients from the get-go.
Our consultancy team lead the way. They are experts in TTM and their collective years of experience are concentrated on each new problem that comes their way. Our team of consultants oversee the generation of the best total solution to each traffic management problem. The consultancy team’s expertise is wide ranging, from dense urban projects (like in Auckland CBD) to road safety barrier systems to specialists in comprehensive site safety auditing to training design and assessment.
The other parts of our business provide significant horsepower in support as well. Our design team translate the consultants’ vision into comprehensive traffic management plans. Our administrative team take care of all of the liaison with stakeholders, road controlling authorities and even public transport providers. Our engineering team put the science behind the solutions and work closely to model traffic impacts as well as the interface with things like traffic signals or other regulatory constrains like restricted parking.
One of our most powerful services is provided by our training team – they deliver and administer training for anyone working in and around the road corridor from the commonly sighted stop-go paddle operator through to site traffic management specialists through to planners, auditors, and competency assessors.
All of our teams unify around the purpose of orchestrating safe worksites, from the trainers who coach and lead the practitioners on the road to the consultants who find solutions to every problem, each person has a unique and complementary role to play to achieve that outcome.
When we look for new team members, we are insistent on attracting those who share that vision and have the talent, expertise and competence to deliver it. That approach has resulted in the collection of the largest, most powerful group of traffic management experts in New Zealand.
This week is also the launch of our new video series Pies with Parallaxx. In our monthly videos we will be looking a little bit more in-depth at the different aspects of our business, the people involved and ways we can help you, our clients and stakeholders. You can view our new introductory video here.
*I have held a L2-L3 STMS-NP warrant for 7 years now