Bollards in the News 2019 – Part 1Bob Cameron
Not everyone realizes just how often they interact with bollards on a daily basis. Bollards aren’t just for city planners and project managers, actually, if you tune into the news they’re being mentioned now more than ever.
Here’s a rundown of some of the top bollard stories from the past few months.
1. Bangor, Maine – September
In an effort to make the city of Bangor (population: 31,903) more pedestrian and cyclist friendly, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine installed these temporary bollards (shown above). The purpose being to narrow the road, forcing vehicles to slow down and proceed with caution through the crosswalk. The Coalition will remove them before the winter season and will then survey residents to gauge the public’s feelings about them. However, one city engineer already thinks that they are working. If the Coalition finds the response to be positive, the city of Bangor will install permanent curb extensions to the intersection.
2. Schaumburg, Illinois – September
When an SUV driver plowed through a mall entrance in Schaumburg, Illinois (population: 74,184) there were many people asking themselves, “Where were the bollards”? While it was eventually found out that some entrances had bollards, one of the entrances that didn’t was the point of entry for the driver, a Sears department store. One resident was quoted saying, “You can look at malls, sporting venues, business offices. Everyone is putting bollards in place because, while they may be costly to install, they’re not costly to maintain and they’re a very effective method.” While no one was critically injured in this accident, this could have easily been a very different story. With the addition of steel bollards, this incident as a whole could have been avoided.
3. Las Vegas, Nevada – July
42 million tourists come through the city of Las Vegas (population: 641,676) a year, so while the city officials want it to remain the entertainment attraction it is known for, they also want to provide security for those visiting and living in the city. So what did they do? They installed a six-mile traffic barrier (4,600 bollards total) to the Strip of Vegas. This addition comes after a drunk driver in the city crashed their vehicle into a cluster of bollards. On the other side of those bollards, was a bench of pedestrians that without the added protection, could have been killed.
4. Naperville, Illinois – October
After a woman tripped over a parking lot wheel stop in Naperville, Illinois (population: 147,682), she is advocating for a removal of wheel stops, and add an influx of bollards. While this might seem unimportant to some, this is actually a common complaint when it comes to the best way to protect civilians and vehicles, while also keeping locations functional. While wheel stops are highly effective, some people using wheelchairs and walkers find it very difficult to get over them. It’s for this and so many other reasons that the city of Naperville even discourages the use of bumpers.
5. Norwich, Connecticut – September
The city of Norwich, Connecticut (population: 39,470) is taking a major step in protecting pedestrians from vehicle traffic by extending curbs among heavily populated intersections, using bollards to do so. While this addition won’t impede on travel lanes, it will reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians. And because increasing safety doesn’t have to take away from the personality of a city, a key part of the plan is to paint the crosswalk extensions in bright colors and with abstract designs.