You know that feeling on Christmas morning, when all the presents have been unwrapped, all the turkey has been eaten, and all is right with the world? You’re snuggled up warm and cozy by the fire and then you look under the Christmas tree and see piles of crumpled wrapping paper, tissue paper and gift bags. And you remember, “Ugh, someone has to clean all of this up!”
Well, that’s exactly how Furniture Market feels (likely without the turkey and stuffing). When all the shiny paper has been torn apart and all the lights come down, our city could be left with a huge mess! Even during Market, things could go terribly wrong if just one person fails to do their job correctly. Imagine organizing downtown streets that have a sudden influx of 80,000 guests. So today, we want to celebrate some of those unseen and under-appreciated tasks and people that make Market possible each year, both before and after.
Keep it Moving!
- The Transportation Department has to make traffic light modifications on main thoroughfares, like Main St., Eastchester Dr., and Wendover Ave. While you may be ready to curse under your breath at the traffic in High Point during Market, remember how hard our Transportation Department works to make things as seamless as possible.
- The Transportation Department coordinates with the High Point Market Authority to manage the contract with transportation consultants. They provide motor coaches, trolleys, and vans to shuttle market guests from the three major N.C. airports, hotels, and the park and ride lots to the downtown market area. We have a hard time getting our families out the door for dinner, so we can’t imagine coordinating around that many people’s schedules.
- Signal changes, sign installation, and parking blocks all have to be carefully planned out and accounted for to make sure no one ends up where they don’t need to be.
Clean it Up!
- The Material Recovery Facility (MRF) and the Environmental Services Division manage recycling in High Point, but during Market that tonnage of recycling doubles! During the spring 2018 Market, those divisions collected 607 tons of cardboard, that’s 1,214,000,000 pounds of cardboard, folks (um, that’s quite a few more pizza boxes than we’ve ever tossed into our recycling bins).
- The Street and Stormwater Maintenance Divisions make sure the city of High Point stays beautiful throughout Market. They utilize 7 crews involving 35 field personnel who are assigned pre-Market clean-up duties along specific thoroughfares for litter pickup, weed eating, mowing, and curb cutting.
- The crews keep the Central Business District area clear of litter and packing debris and also place or remove roll-off containers which keep the areas cleaned of trash, even on hectic Market nights.
- The Kersey Valley Landfill is opened on a scheduled Sunday to allow city collection to toss the trash from Market quickly and easily.
Robby Stone, of Public Services, had this to say about those who make Market preparations and clean up a little easier:
“The Environmental Services Division, Material Recovery Facility Division, Streets/Stormwater Divisions and Landfill Division work tirelessly throughout the window of time. It is amazing to see the heart, effort and community pride that these folks put into their job. They understand the overall positive impacts the Furniture Market brings to the City. Once the Furniture Market is officially over, crews and work groups transition almost immediately back to their ‘typical’ assigned duties.”
Although all the men and women who work long hours to see every last scrap of packing recycled and every last street returned to normal often go unnoticed, we want to echo Robby’s sentiments. We are proud to be part of a community who has the heart to see 600 tons of trash removed, 80,000 guests happily accommodated, and so much more accomplished.
We’d like to thank Matt Carpenter (Traffic Operations Engineer, Transportation Department), Robby Stone, (Public Services Assistant Director), and Tony Rayburn (Main Wing Manager at IHFC), and all the other city and Market employees who work to clean up all the wrapping paper and make sure everything is festive and bright before and after Market. From the High Point Discovered Team to you, thank you for making Market possible!
Discovering our High Points,
The HP Discovered Team