We are just nearly 4 months away from the biggest International Material Handling and Logistics show of the year. Plan ahead to Stop by SlowStop's booth to learn more about our superior guarding systems. Our full sales staff will be on hand to answer any of your questions, to make recommendations for your facilities, and to share all that they can to help you protect your most valuable assets.
Click the link below to Register for Modex 2018 and then send us an email to set-up a one-on-one meeting with one of our regional sales managers.
We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta in April.
We are just one week away from the National Safety Council and Expo in Indianapolis, IN. Will you be attending? Visit booth #812 to learn more about SlowStop Guarding Systems, LLC and see in person some of our showcased products.
“The nation’s leading safety advocate for more than 100 years, the National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization with the mission of eliminating preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by engaging businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public to help prevent the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. – preventable injuries. A 501c3 nonprofit, chartered by Congress, with local Chapters, global networks and more than 50,000 members, NSC is committed to helping keep people safe wherever they are.”
Impact Recovery Systems is pleased to announce its recent acquisition of the assets of Wolters BVBA, the manufacturer of SoftStop®. This includes the rights to all intellectual property.
Impact Recovery Systems is a United States based company that has been in business for over 25 years as a manufacturer of flexible, high-impact traffic and safety devices for roads, pedestrian safety, warehouses and facilities world-wide. We have won multiple awards for product innovation and we continually work to bring our customers the high quality and lasting durability they expect from our products.
As you may know, Impact Recovery Systems has already been involved in the sales of SoftStop® for the past several years. In North America, it is marketed and sold as SlowStop®. With this new acquisition, we will begin to market SoftStop® as SlowStop® on an international level. This transition to one single brand will strengthen our product’s presence world-wide and will allow us to offer superior marketing support to all our customers.
We would like to thank Gerard Wolters for his contributions. Without his dedication and hard work, none of this would be possible. We are grateful for the opportunity we have had to work with him and his son Geert during the past 20 years, and we look forward to our continuing friendship.
Over the next few months, we will be in the process of integrating these new assets into our existing system. It is our goal to continue providing the highest level of service during this time and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with our customers. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Geert Wolters will continue to be our primary contact for international sales. Gerard will also be available over the next few months to help answer questions during this transition period.
Please see enclosed contact sheet for updated contact information.
Traffic bollards are perhaps the most effective and most versatile of all pedestrian safety products. They perform a host of duties ranging from traffic calming to restricting access to sensitive areas. Today’s bollards can even do double-duty as garden planters, pathway lights, or works of art. Rarely has an invention proven to be so simple and so useful.
Traffic bollards are grouped according to material and function. The most common types in use today are permanent and temporary bollards. Each serves an important role in modern transportation infrastructure.
These are usually made of steel, very often reinforced with concrete inside. In Europe, it’s common to see traffic bollards made in the shape of cannon barrels, a design tradition from the 19th century when leftover cannons were used for this purpose. These bollards prevent trucks and cars from entering areas reserved for cyclists, those on foot, or specialized vehicles.
Permanent bollards can cause severe damage to a vehicle that strikes them. This makes them ideal for high-security applications where an immovable barrier is needed. They are increasingly common in today’s world due to the uptick in terrorist activity across the globe. For example, a substantial number bollards were erected in Glasgow after the 2007 assault on that city’s international airport.
Some people feel that these types of bollards appear too foreboding or militaristic for widespread use. For example, in post-9/11 New York City, many citizens complained about the bollards that were promptly erected around police stations, military facilities, public buildings, and other sensitive areas. One way to address these concerns is to build traffic bollards in the shapes of planters, statues, or other decorative items.
In most cases, such as periods of road construction, temporary traffic bollards are used instead. These products offer a number of advantages over permanent bollards:
Mobility - temporary bollards can be used on the spot as needed and can then be relocated or placed in storage.
Affordability – temporary bollards cost far less than permanent structures and require much less installation time.
Safety – most temporary bollards are designed to bend rather than break when struck. This helps to prevent both vehicle damage and injury to errant motorists. Yet these products are also highly visible due to their bright colors, which makes them excellent pedestrian safety products.
One common use of temporary bollards is in school zones, where students cross the road early in the morning or mid-afternoon. Crossing guards may erect these structures either on mobile bases or in pre-drilled holes.
These bollards are also used at entryways to concert venues, medical clinics, and places of worship where pedestrian traffic is heavy but intermittent. When pedestrian traffic slows, the temporary bollards can simply be picked up and put in storage until they’re needed once more. In some locations, bollards are permanently installed into recessed openings and raised or lowered as needed with remote controls.
Traffic bollards can also be outfitted with electric lights. This makes them ideal for use alongside pedestrian walkways where they offer supplementary illumination at night or during periods of inclement weather. Illuminated bollards are also used to mark the “splitter islands” that form the centers of roundabouts. Sometimes these bollards are connected to the power grid with underground wires; other times they rely on built-in solar panels and batteries.
Architects are increasingly finding ways to reimagine traditional designs of both temporary and permanent traffic bollards to improve their aesthetic appeal while retaining their value as pedestrian safety products. This is especially common in “artsy” sections of major cities in the US and Europe.
Every day, the world grows more developed and interconnected. While this has created unprecedented opportunities for personal enrichment and economic progress, it also poses new challenges for public safety officials. So long as this is the case, traffic bollards of all types will continue to be used.
Six Factors to Consider When Choosing Traffic Bollards
Posted by slowstop | 06 June 2017
Traffic bollards play a vital role in promoting public safety. As with any type of traffic safety equipment, however, choosing the best units for your location means asking yourself questions like these:
Is there any reason the location may be a target for criminals, trespassers, vandals, or terrorist groups? The greater the need for security, the more you should consider inflexible, permanently mounted traffic bollards. These need not ruin the aesthetics of the location. Very powerful bollards can be hidden behind plantings, street furniture, and works of art. Some can even do double-duty by fulfilling those functions themselves.
Should access to the location be restricted during certain times of day? If so, then you may wish to consider retractable bollards. These units can be raised and lowered at will by the operator, allowing traffic to pass during busy times while preventing it from entering at others. Portable bollards can serve the same purpose over limited periods of time.
Is the location in the general public’s eye, or is it in an out-of-the-way area? The more prominent a facility is, the greater the need to balance utility against appearance. Also, traffic bollards in urban locations must be placed so that they don’t disrupt the flow of traffic around the location. These concerns are less important in remote areas.
Are there geographical or weather conditions that may affect which traffic bollards you should choose? For example, high visibility can be more important in areas that receive large amounts of rain or snow. Also, hilly areas can create natural barriers that either work with or against bollards in limiting access or directing site traffic.
What are the potential consequences if traffic bollards are ignored? The answer to this question will vary widely depending on the type of location. The results of unauthorized personnel entering a nuclear waste facility, for example, could be catastrophic. On the other hand, vandals intruding in a public park while it’s closed might lead to defaced public property but no loss of life or irreversible damage.
What are the likely maintenance requirements of the bollards? Bollards that are impacted often can become an eyesore and lose their functionality. Some bollards are designed to be more maintenance friendly due to rebounding capabilities.
Parking bollards help prevent accidents in parking lots across the United States. Installing them is one of the most effective steps lot owners and managers can take to ensure safety on the properties they are responsible for. These bollards can take one of three different forms, depending on local needs:
Rigid bollards - these are permanently mounted into the lot’s substrate. Their purpose is to provide an unyielding barrier against vehicle owners that try to park or drive in unauthorized areas. They are usually made of steel, filled with concrete, and painted bright colors, such as yellow, to make them more noticeable. These are among the most common parking bollards found in the United States due to their strength and low maintenance requirements. However, they embedded types cannot easily be relocated to meet changing demands. There have been advances in surface mount bollards that are stronger than traditional welded plate bollards.
Retractable bollards - these can be raised or lowered as needed during particular events or times of day. When not in use, they drop into pre-drilled slots buried in the ground, and are then raised by manual or mechanical means when needed. These parking bollards are ideal for use in locations with changing layouts. However, their higher cost makes them unworkable for some organizations.
Flexible bollards - these are used on an as-needed basis. They bend when struck by a vehicle, so they provide little deterrence to those who are determined to break the rules. However, their affordability makes them a perfect solution when parking bollards are needed for short-term use, such as during special events like community festivals or concerts. Their lightweight construction keeps them from damaging vehicles when struck while also safeguarding them from being damaged themselves.
Deciding which type of bollard is best for your location depends on factors such as budget, ongoing needs, and local conditions. Given their role in helping to ensure parking lot safety, however, some type of bollard is necessary for virtually any property where drivers park.
This post is the first of a five part article which describes traffic bollards types and their common uses. This post discusses bollard types and introduces the four main uses for traffic bollards.
Traffic bollards come in four main types:
Surface Mounted Bollards
Retractable / Removable Bollards
Each type is specifically designed for its purpose and has its own benefits and limitations. Within those groups, there are sub-groups which I will discuss as well. Also, bollards that fit in those categories can also fall into other sub-categories less dependent on function and more on aesthetics. Architectural Bollards might be any of the above, but are also designed to also include pleasant or unique shapes. A Lighted Bollard is simply a bollard with a light source built in either to add conspicuity to the bollard or to light the surrounding area.
Embedded Bollards are simply bollards which are embedded deep into the ground. This is usually for added strength and security. Embedded bollards can be made out of any common bollard material, be it steel, concrete or even wood, however the bollard will only be as strong as the foundation in which it is buried.
A steel post filled with concrete and buried very deep within a reinforced concrete foundation will be strong indeed. On the contrary, a wooden post buried in soft sand or dirt will not provide as much protection.
Costs for this type of bollard can be significant when coring out existing concrete or asphalt surfaces. It also potentially weakens the foundation, and therefore may not even be appropriate in an application such as a structural concrete parking deck. On the other hand, when placing a bollard in an unpaved area, this is perhaps the least expensive and simplest approach.
Surface Mounted Bollards
This type of bollard uses some sort of anchor system, usually mechanical, to mount the bollard to the surface. Although this is an inexpensive method of installation, it also is not a very secure method. Upon impact, the anchors are often the weakest link and quickly give way, leaving a tilted bollard and damaged foundation. However, when the purpose of the bollard is more to provide a mere presence or psychological barrier, this type of installation is most cost effective. It also may be necessary to use shear bolts in a post-tensioned concrete structure in order to prevent impact to the bollard to potentially compromise the building.
The next type of bollard, the rebounding bollard, is often surface mounted, but overcomes the strength and damage issues associated with standard surface mounted bollards.
A relative newcomer to the bollard field, rebounding bollards use energy absorption technology to provide the strength of some embedded bollards, with the low installation costs and flexibility of surface mounted bollards. When a rebounding bollard is impacted, it is allowed to tilt as some mechanism, be it an elastomer or spring system, more slowly absorbs and dissipates the energy of the vehicle.
The bollard then ideally returns to its original position undamaged and fully functional. Some barriers use advanced polymers which do not yield like metal or concrete might under extreme load.
A further advantage of this type of system is that damage to vehicles, passengers and loads is reduced due to the more gradual absorption of impact energy. Imagine crashing a vehicle into a large concrete bollard. Since there is almost no give, it is much like hitting the proverbial brick wall; all energy is immediately felt by the vehicle and its passengers. With a flexible bollard system, that energy might be dispersed over several hundred milliseconds. While that doesn’t sound like much, it makes a great deal of difference to the peak forces felt.
Some bollards in this type are actually not intended to provide traffic denial capabilities at all. As such, they are used mainly as sign markers and psychological barriers. These are extremely prevalent in the United Kingdom.
Retractable / Removable Bollards
Not all applications for bollards are intended to be permanent or always prevent access. As such, retractable and removable bollards have been designed to allow the owner or a potential traveler access the area normally denied by the bollard.
This is typically done in one of several ways. The lowest technology is the pipe-in-a-tube method where a socket is created in the ground. The bollard can then be removed from the socket when access is to be granted. This is inexpensive, but requires manual intervention to access the area. A second way is through the use of pivoting bollards. A locking pin is used to hold the bollard upright under normal circumstances, and removed to allow the bollard to lay flat when a vehicle is to pass over it. These bollards are generally flat in shape to allow for vehicle clearance. Often, the pin is locked in place with a padlock to prevent unauthorized access.
Finally, the most expensive method is the automatic retractable bollard. Usually hydraulic powered, the bollard actually retracts straight down into the ground and becomes flush with the surface during access. Actuation of a hydraulic bollard can be by any number of methods, from security guard push button to remote controls and toll booth pay systems.
Uses of Bollards
The next four parts of this article will discuss ideal uses for bollards for each of the following areas of concern:
Parking Lot Protection
Factories and Warehouses
Certain types of bollards discussed today are more or less appropriate for each application, depending on the required function. That will be discussed in detail for each.
SlowStop® Rebounding Steel Bollards solve the problems building designers and property managers face when trying to protect buildings and assets without damaging foundations and creating costly repair scenarios. SlowStop® bollards are a unique surface mounted design that gives slightly upon impact, reducing damage to vehicles, foundations, and the bollards themselves. Easy to install and maintain, surprisingly strong, SlowStop® bollards offer superior life cycle value and even easy to replace modular components.
See a video demonstration of this remarkable new product HERE.
Parking Garages and Structural Concrete Buildings
Since the advent of pre- and post-tensioned parking garages, structural engineers have struggled with how to provide for utility, toll gate, and wall protection without the potential for structural failure. SlowStop® bollards are designed to be frangible at the base prior to anchor pull-out, allowing engineers to use various size SlowStop® bollards to block and absorb impacts in their structural concrete designs.
Store Parking Lots
The rebounding SlowStop® bollard is an ideal solution for utility and asset protection in mall and box store parking lots. Damage to customer vehicles is decreased due to the energy absorbing action of the bollards, but also the bollards stay upright and provide a maintained look store owners desire. We also offer a 4” bollard signpost to create an attractive ADA compliant Disabled Parking sign. This provides the added cost advantage of eliminating the need for wheel stops, long a liability as a trip hazard.
Loading Docks and Warehouses
Heavy truck traffic at loading docks can damage even deeply buried embedded pipe bollards, requiring expensive repairs.
Our 6” SlowStop® Bollard is strong enough to stop an 80,000 pound truck at just under 2 mph without any damage to the structure. Use these for dock protection, stair guards, and corner turn protection. Our smaller bollards are ideal inside warehouses for the numerous problems maintenance managers face from fork lift damage to racks and equipment.
Learn more about how SlowStop® Rebounding Bollards can benefit your building designs HERE or call us at 1-800-736-5256. We offer a full suite of CAD Details, Three Part CSI Specifications, and can even provide guidance on anchor calculations.
We now offer a free downloadable one-hour continuing education course, Rebounding Bollards: Use and Design Considerations, that allows you to earn valuable credits through the following reporting agencies:
This course will teach you about the various types of rebounding bollards, their use, and special design considerations when planning to use this unique new technology. Knowing when and how to use rebounding bollards will allow you to offer increased value to your customers and solve their long standing headaches.
The course is offered as a downloadable .pdf file which allows you to read the material at your leisure, then, take a short on-line quiz to complete the course. Learning Units are automatically reported for you for AIA, AIDB, FBPE, and AAA while others agencies are self-reported.
Our course is offered through AEC Daily which provides hundreds of free on-line, live, and off-line CE courses for your benefit.
Click the following link to go directly to the course:
A Better Way to Make Handicap Parking Bollard Signs
Posted by slowstop | 06 June 2017
Parking lots throughout the nation are required to have adequate parking space for handicapped and disabled drivers by law due to the Americans with Disability Act. Proper signage must be displayed reserving these spaces. This leads to increased cost in designing parking lots as well as significant maintenance due to damaged sign posts.
There are two main types of parking spaces reserved for the disabled. The first is the strip mall type or “nose-in” spaces which are parking spaces directly in front of building access. These are either perpendicular with the building or angled in. Sometimes the handicap placard is mounted to a building column, but more often a simple signpost or bollard signpost embedded in concrete is used. Sometimes the sidewalk curb can act as a car stop to prevent damage to the sign. The second type is found in an open parking lot, usually closest to the building, but separated by a travel lane. Again, a plain sign post or bollard sign post is used to mount the placard, however a concrete car stop is almost always needed to avoid damage to the sign post if it is not on a raised median.
When designing facilities needing these signs, the main difficulty with traditional signs is one of cost and coordination. Bollard signs are more effective than plain signposts due to increased visibility as well as sturdiness; however their cost is more and they also require either pre-pouring the bollard, or coring the concrete after it has cured to set the bollard.
The main problem that owners and facility managers have with these signs is constant damage from bumps and impacts. Even when a car stop is provided, some vehicles have exceptionally long overhangs, often due to aftermarket additions, which can reach the signs and damage them. Repairs are often costly, requiring the hiring of a parking lot repair company to dig out the old sign and replace with a completely new one. The addition of car stops where none exist can also be expensive.
A Better Solution
Thanks to the new SlowStop® Rebounding Bollard system, a solution has arrived that can solves the issues of high up-front cost and repeated maintenance. The SlowStop® Bollard system is a steel bollard with an energy absorbing elastomer hidden inside. When impacted, the bollard gives about 20-25 degrees before locking solid. This decreases damage to the bollard and sign post, to vehicles impacting the bollard, and to the concrete that it is attached. The SlowStop® Handicap Parking Bollard Sign system is also very simple to install, requiring only a hammer drill and an impact wrench to surface mount to concrete. Once this is done, the bollard is filled with concrete mix to hold the sign pole in place, and installation is complete.
This system has several cost advantages. First off, on a concrete surface, no coring is needed to place the sign. This eliminates coordination with a concrete contractor as well. Second, no car stop is needed, as the bollard acts as its own car stop. The system is flexible and naturally can accommodate custom sign placards. It can also be easily moved if needed.
More Durable, Less Expensive
Below is a video of this new bollard signpost in action. The sign system is installed in concrete only. Please feel free to contact us at 1-800-736-4477 for more information or buy online here.
This post is the last of a five part article dealing with types of bollards and their ideal uses. This post will discuss bollard use in industrial manufacturing plants as well as warehouses.
No matter the work setting, anywhere that moving vehicles have the potential to injure workers and guests alike, adequate protection is required. Simple safety training of fork lift operators, delivery truck drivers, and plant personnel is often not enough to ensure pedestrian safety. Accidents with heavy vehicles are often catastrophic and require additional safeguarding to protect people from injury. A line of bollard or bollard fencing in high traffic area is key. It is also especially important to protect operators and workers in areas where they may not be able to see oncoming traffic, such as when performing work related tasks. Break areas are another important area to consider as workers are often inattentive while on break.
Many businesses choose to use surface mounted steel plate bollards in these applications, as the speeds of vehicles is often low and this is adequate to stop incidental contact with forbidden areas. Cored or embedded bollards can leave a factory owner with a Swiss cheese plant floor, especially given the flexibility required of the modern factory. But because welded plate surface mounted bollards can quickly come loose and fall into disrepair, rebounding type bollards are recommended for their ability to absorb impact and avoid damage and lost truck loads. These can also be used to assist in proper positioning, as it is acceptable to use them as a positive stop without a jarring impact of a traditional bollard.
Loading Docks and Doors
It’s no secret that warehouse loading dock areas take a beating. Delivery trucks are very large and very heavy, and maneuvering them can be difficult even for the most experienced driver. In order to protect building walls, loading ramps, and high bay doors, savvy warehouse managers install strong bollards to protect their facilities from damage due to repeated low speed impacts from heavy vehicles.
Related to this is the interior plant doorway made for vehicle traffic. An inattentive driver can strike the interior walls causing a potentially dangerous situation, especially for a cinder block wall. Bollards strategically placed in the doorway just inside the wall opening can prevent this sort of damage and save the plant from costly repairs.
One of the most common workplace fines issued by the Occupations Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is for damaged pallet racks. Pallet racks are subject to damage because of the large frequency of use by forklifts loading and unloading product. The slightest impact can damage structural uprights and compromise the load integrity of the rack systems. There are many devices on the market to protect pallet rack uprights such as cushions and guards, but the most effective is arguable a well-placed bollard. Corners are an especially important area to protect as forklift can clip the end of the rack cutting a turn. These tend to be lighter bollards in the 3” class as speeds tend to be low.
Equipment and Automation
Industrial equipment and automation can be quite expensive, not to mention critical to plant operations and business revenue. It is imperative that such equipment is protected from vehicle traffic to eliminate the possibility of completely avoidable downtime. Safety fencing is often used to protect personnel from entering dangerous equipment operations areas, but bollards or bollard fencing can serve a dual purpose of prohibiting access from both workers and vehicular traffic. It is not uncommon to see expensive automation equipment surrounded by a line of bollards with W-rail attached along plant aisle ways. At other times, simple bollard protection to keep vehicles away from delicate personnel safety fencing may be adequate.
In these days of hyper competitive business environments, the costs from unnecessary interruption to operations from vehicle accidents are intolerable. Further, the safety of employees is a major goal of most companies. When viewed from that perspective, the installation of protective bollards throughout industrial operations is imperative and has become commonplace. Business owners and operations managers should carefully consider areas of vehicle traffic, and especially areas that can be prone to damage or injury.
This post concludes our look at ideal bollard applications. Although not all inclusive of the many uses of traffic bollards, we have provided a comprehensive look, at the most common installations.
Traffic bollards are the most common bollards found today. They’re used both to guide traffic and to help ensure public safety. They accomplish the first objective by their visual presence, which alerts motorists to the need to follow a marked route or to avoid a prohibited area. They fulfill the second purpose by forming physical barriers, strong enough to stop an errant motorist or out-of-control vehicle from striking passersby.
Traffic bollards are often painted bright yellow or orange to make them more prominent when viewed against the surrounding landscape. To aid nighttime visibility, traffic bollards often have reflective tape affixed to them.
Benefits of Traffic Bollards
Increased safety of city foot traffic – Bollards are used in many large urban areas to surround pedestrian islands. There, they act as physical barriers against misguided and out-of-control vehicles.
Traffic calming – Several studies have shown that bollards cause motorists to drive slower and to pay more attention to their surrounding environment. This leads to fewer vehicular accidents of all types.
Improved building access – Traffic bollards are also used to prevent vehicles from blocking entrances to buildings, by making it impossible for drivers to park too close to the entrance or for vehicles to park too closely together.
Psychological assurance – The vast majority of vehicle-related accidents are caused by a small minority of drivers, who fail to operate their automobiles in a responsible fashion. However, traffic bollards act as a physical barrier between them and those who would otherwise be victims of their carelessness. This allows both pedestrians and conscientious motorists to breathe a little easier as they go about their daily activities. This enhanced level of mental comfort is far from the least of the many ways in which bollards benefit the public.
Traffic bollards play a vital role in today’s transportation systems. Their use benefits drivers, pedestrians, and bike riders in innumerable ways. For these reasons and more, urban planners should use them as integral components for helping to assure the public’s safety, comfort, and peace of mind.
Human society can only exist when the need for security is balanced against the importance of allowing free access to facilities and resources. Lean too far in either direction, and the results can include a police state on one extreme or chaos on the other. This principle underlies all aspects of civic planning, including the use of the safety bollard.
Safety bollards must protect public safety above all. However, this task should always be balanced against other considerations, such as allowing access to those with legitimate reasons to be on site. Additionally, of course, aesthetics play a role in these matters as well.
The tension between security and public appeal in using safety bollards has led to impassioned debates in urban areas such as New York City. Barriers put in place since the World Trade Center attacks have been criticized for being too utilitarian and foreboding in appearance.
Given the delicate balance that civic planners must maintain between these considerations, how sturdy should safety bollards be? While there are no easy answers to this question, there are some general guidelines to use for specific instances. These include:
Safety bollards should be sufficient to deal with any likely threat. A 10-meter high stone fence, for instance, would be thoroughly inappropriate at a shopping mall where parking control is the main concern. On the other hand, a removable “no trespassing” sign mounted atop a flexible bollard would be similarly inadequate at a nuclear power plant.
Safety bollards must allow ready access to a location, unless such access poses a credible risk to public well-being. To illustrate: it’s sensible to erect sturdy bollards to prevent unauthorized entrance to construction sites. However, such locations must not be so secure as to not allow rapid entrance by fire, medical, or police units in case of emergency.
When possible, safety bollards should be erected in such a way as to add to a site’s visual appeal. For example, bollards can take the form of substantially-sized planters or works of art. In these forms, they enhance safety and beautify the surrounding area at the same time.
To conclude, so long as the need to weigh security against mobility exists, the issue of safety bollard construction will remain a point of contention. However, by following common sense principles like those outlined above, these controversies can be minimized.
Public Security and the Safety Bollard: Practicality Meets Beauty
Posted by slowstop | 05 May 2017
The term “safety bollard” conjures up a host of different images depending on one’s background and perspective. For all too many people, though, it creates images of ugly metal poles that remind them of military forts or maximum security prisons. Fortunately, this is no longer the case in a growing number of settings. Today’s bollards take a variety of attractive forms. The following are some examples:
Tree, shrubbery, or floral containers – large rock or concrete structures designed to hold soil frequently double as both landscaping and public safety improvements. This is an especially satisfying alternative to traditional bollard construction. It beautifies the surrounding location and discourages unauthorized activity at the same time.
Walkway guides or borders – these retain much of the traditional shape of the safety bollard while improving their appearance. By being cast in curvilinear shapes and pleasing colors, these objects avoid the cold, utilitarian look of older designs, while still accomplishing the central purpose of limiting access to certain areas. As an added bonus, these bollards can often accommodate cables, lengths of chain, or even nighttime lighting for extra utility.
Objects of art – this approach to safety bollard design, completely disguises the practical purpose of these objects by reinterpreting them as statues, geometric forms, or public monuments. It’s especially appropriate for large public areas such as parks and greenways. Modern methods of coloring and casting concrete make these designs easier to create and install than ever before.
Covers – traditional steel post or concrete bollards can be covered with colored plastic or polished steel covers to conceal internal functional bollards. Plastic covers resist corrosion and do not require maintenance painting while polished stainless steel covers offer similar long-term aesthetics. Some plastic covers even offer architectural design elements. (Image courtesy of IdealShield)
Today’s urban planners face the ever-present challenge of ensuring safety while also tending to aesthetic concerns. Everyone wants added security, yet few people want to live in an area that resembles a fortified compound. These twin considerations drive the further evolution of safety bollards towards newer, more attractive designs. This is good news for all those who seek to improve the world’s public spaces.
The world is rapidly changing. Studies show that societies across the globe are becoming increasingly urbanized. This mass exodus from rural locations is having significant economic and social effects, which are of importance to owners and managers of private properties as well as public spaces. In this new environment, bollard signs can be especially helpful to business patrons. This is so for the following reasons:
Bollard signs are more prominent than other common forms of signage. This is due to the visual prominence of bollards themselves, as well as the enhanced height they give to notices mounted on top of them. This fact alone will help patrons identify a particular location, especially when visiting it for the first time.
Bollards are especially sturdy structures, designed to resist impacts from misguided motor vehicles. This fact helps to ensure that patrons will always be able to see any notices placed on them.
Bollard signs can be easily switched to match evolving needs. For example, if a location undergoes exterior renovations to adopt a particular theme, the exterior signage can be changed to match the new motif. This benefits both business owners and patrons by giving locations a more unified, aesthetically pleasing appearance.
When strategically placed, bollard signs not only inform the public but also play an important role in ensuring patrons’ access to private facilities. This is especially true in parking areas, where they can serve as physical barriers to motorists who would otherwise park their vehicles too close together to allow entrance for customers. In the case of residential properties, using bollard signs in this way can guarantee availability to all residents, while ensuring that owners remain in compliance with accessibility statutes.
For these reasons and more, those in charge of private businesses should consider the advantages of bollard signs for their patrons.
How Pedestrian Bollards Protect Drivers and Pedestrians
Posted by slowstop | 05 May 2017
Pedestrian Bollards are closely related to traffic bollards in design and purpose, with the chief difference being that they direct foot, as opposed to motorized, traffic. Nonetheless, they perform an important function in promoting public safety, by maintaining a buffer zone between pedestrians and motorized vehicles.
A powerful example of the role that pedestrian bollards can play is found in New York City. While it’s a great metropolis, NYC has traditionally been hesitant to use bollards to protect its millions of walkers. This is largely responsible for the high incidents of pedestrian-vehicle accidents that occur within the city annually. A recent report by New York City’s Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) mentions 7,000 injuries and fatalities caused by such collisions.
In response, the NYCDOT launched an initiative in 2008 to make the city safer for those on foot. Many of the measures involve the use of bollards. Here are some of the many examples.
Development of bicycle paths connecting all five boroughs, to encourage the use of bikes as an alternative means of transportation. Bollards have been installed on many of these paths, to provide a physical barrier against drivers intruding on the cycle routes. This measure has had tangible results.
The redesign of public spaces to create designated zones for foot, horse, and bicycle traffic. One splendid example of this measure’s success is the revamping of Park Circle in Brooklyn, as seen in this report. It includes several images of how bollards have been used successfully, along with concrete curbs and lane markings, to create safe zones for non-vehicular traffic.
A special emphasis on the Broadway areas of Times and Herald squares, including the use of bollards to establish pedestrian plazas and “refuge spaces,” seen clearly in this video. The resulting improvements to public safety have been dramatic.
The successes enjoyed by the NYCDOT in using pedestrian bollards are clear evidence of their effectiveness. As the world becomes ever more urbanized, the role of bollards in guarding public safety will only increase.
Traffic bollards are used in urban areas to guide traffic and protect human life. However, despite their benefits, some city governments still resist using them on large scales. Historically this has been the case in New York City, although this has changed somewhat over the last decade. Some of the reasons for this reluctance to use bollards include:
The belief that they may impede those with visual and mobility limitations.
Concerns over them interfering with snow plowing.
Worries about damage to vehicles that strike them.
To address these issues, modern traffic bollards are mounted in a number of ways, including:
Fixed – where they are intended as permanent fixtures. In such cases, they are installed in one of two different ways: by drilling bolt holes into the surrounding concrete and securing the bollard to the surface by using inserts fed through the openings or by excavating several feet deep, inserting a bollard of considerable length, then pouring concrete around it to ground level. The first method is used in areas where access isn’t tightly controlled. The second is employed at locations where the danger of sabotage or terrorist activities is significant, such as around nuclear power facilities and military installations.
Removable – This setup incorporates an underground sleeve or other type of mounting that is set permanently in place. There is a gap at the top that allows the easy installation and removal of bollards for temporary purposes. Sometimes a locking mechanism is employed as well. These bollards are used at spots where access control needs vary at different times.
Retractable – Sometimes bollards are needed on a regular basis at a location, but only at specific times of the day, week, or month. In such cases, retractable models are installed. The mechanism that raises and lowers these bollards may either be hydraulic or electrically driven; often a backup power source is included onsite so that the unit remains operable even if the area is suffering an electricity blackout.
The trend away from seeing traffic bollards only as permanent, immovable objects allows them to be used in new ways, all of which enhance public safety. So, it’s true that bollards aren’t what they used to be. In fact, they’re better than ever before.
Flexible Delineators or Safety Bollards: When to Use Each
Posted by webmaster | 05 May 2017
Flexible delineators are similar in appearance to bollards. However, the intended functions of both devices are distinct from each other. This article will clarify the ways in which the two differ.
The Purpose of Bollards Bollards, convey a simple message: “don’t go here!” They are intended as obstructions to either foot or vehicular travel. In some cases, they take the form of substantial structures made of steel or concrete. In other cases, they are made of highly flexible materials and are meant to “bend rather than break” if struck by motor vehicles. Regardless of their construction, however, their purpose is to discourage or prevent undesired or unauthorized access to certain areas.
The Purpose of Delineators Delineators, are intended not so much to obstruct traffic as to guide it. The non-verbal message they’re intended to convey is: “please go this way.” Like many bollards, they’re highly reflective and easily visible at night. They also alert motorists to changing road conditions due to the presence of structures such as guardrails. A typical use for them is to alert a motorist of a guardrail in place alongside a curving road. Delineators are often installed atop the rail to make it more visible to passing autos.
Flexible delineators differ from other types in that they rise vertically from the road surface. This affords them a higher degree of visibility compared to traditional channelizers, which are typically level with the road. They’re especially useful in areas where side-swipe types of accidents are likely to occur, such as when traffic is merging from one road onto another. They prevent vehicles from moving leftward too quickly as they enter the stream of traffic. Their flexibility keeps them from causing damage even if they’re struck.
Both bollards and delineators serve vitally important functions. Knowing when each should be used is important for maintaining public safety, both on the streets and off.
Safety bollards are the workhorses of the security and traffic management world. They serve an almost endless variety of roles, from directing traffic to protecting sensitive installations. Here’s a look at seven of the most important ways in which they serve.
Traffic calming – Safety bollards are used to delineate car-free zones, prevent spillover parking on sidewalks, and reduce traffic speed by narrowing lanes. Additionally, studies by the Transportation Research Institute of Israel have found that strategically placed safety bollards can reduce the frequency of automotive accidents. In some cases, these purposes are best served by flexible metro bollards that bend upon impact. In other instances, officials use heavily reinforced safety bollards made of steel with concrete cores. In recent times, portable bollards have begun to replace traffic cones for use around roadway worksites.
Illuminating darkened areas – Wrongdoers typically seek dark, poorly lit places to commit crimes. To discourage such behavior and enhance visibility, many modern safety bollards are outfitted with lighting devices. In some cases, the bollard is a totally self-contained unit that operates via small solar panels, a built-in battery, and LEDs. In other cases, safety bollards are connected to the power utility and joined in an electrical network. Reflective bollards are often used to mark sensitive areas; officials rely on their ability to reflect oncoming headlights.
Deflecting vehicle tires – Bell-shaped safety bollards are used for this purpose in many parts of the world, including continental Europe and the United Kingdom. They help to safeguard both property and pedestrians from stray vehicles.
Enabling periodic traffic control measures – Some facilities require concentrated traffic management during certain periods of time. These include school zones, houses of worship, and factories that employ shift workers. In such cases, portable safety bollards serve an important role. Sometimes these products are temporarily mounted into permanently affixed metal sockets at road or ground level. Other times, safety bollards are outfitted with electric or hydraulic mechanisms that operators can raise or lower as needed. With advances in artificial intelligence, officials are using so-called “smart bollards” in some areas. These devices can position themselves as needed based on incoming sensory data.
Enhancing driver safety during racing events – In some cases, sporting officials use safety bollards to mark sharp corners and other segments of raceways that might compromise the safety of the competitors. These products are designed to break away from their base very easily, should a vehicle strike them.
Controlling access – Many types of safety bollards serve in this capacity. They range from simple flexible structures joined together by yellow caution tape to substantial monuments that do double-duty as raised flowerbeds or sculptures. Police officers use safety bollards to direct civilians away from crime scenes, as commonly shown on television and in motion pictures. Permanent safety bollards can weigh many tons, and are designed to deflect oncoming vehicles traveling at high speeds. This particular use for bollards has become increasingly common in the years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Helping to preserve historic sites – In the United States, the National Register of Historic Places includes more than 90,000 buildings, objects, sites, districts and structures. Many of these locations are easily damaged or defaced. In such cases, officials often use safety bollards to discourage both careless activities and outright vandalism. The bollards used range from lightweight portable structures to sizable fixtures, depending on budgetary priorities and changing circumstances.
The world becomes more crowded with each passing day, creating an ever-growing need for effective security measures. Safety bollards serve an important role in this regard. Their value as public protectors will only increase in the coming years.
Safety bollards protect site workers and the general public alike from accidents, vandalism, and crime. They do so in the following ways:
By creating a physical barrier between people and sources of danger – Safety bollards vary greatly in size and strength, from short steel posts to massive concrete structures. Yet they’re remarkably similar in their ability to repel danger. This makes them an excellent shield against all types of hazards, from stray vehicles to terrorist attacks. Yet they need not look imposing or intimidating. In fact, they often do double duty as planters, statues, fountains, entryways, and other decorative public works.
By serving as a deterrent to both careless behavior and deliberate acts of destruction – Safety bollards are powerful visual reminders that an area is off-limits to vehicles, human beings, or both. In today’s information-saturated society, thousands of messages compete for everyone’s attention on a daily basis. Safety bollards remind passersby that they should pay attention to their surroundings. They also serve as a warning to those who would cause harm on purpose.
By channelizing traffic away from sensitive areas – For example, walking and biking paths are increasingly common sights across the country as people place greater emphasis on personal fitness. As they do, however, the need to make motorists aware of their presence grows as well. Safety bollards serve this purpose, helping to keep car and foot traffic separate. They do the same for pedestrian walkways, construction zones, and entrances to public facilities.
Today’s world offers unprecedented opportunities for education, income, and personal enrichment. However, along with these advances comes expanding infrastructure and an increasing need to safeguard human beings from harm, be it intentional or otherwise. Safety bollards play a crucial role in these efforts. As the planet grows more interconnected, the need for these structures will only increase. Public officials and private business owners should keep this fact in mind as they strive to make their locations safer.
Safety bollards have always been useful for marking bicycle lanes. Now, with the popularity of contraflow bike lanes, using bollards is more important than ever to ensure the safety of both cyclists and motorists.
Contraflow Bike Lanes: a Growing Trend
Contraflow lanes allow bicycles to travel in the opposite direction of motorists. In cities with substantial numbers of one-way streets, these lanes benefit cyclists in many ways, including the following:
Reduce motorist/cyclist conflicts
Allow cyclists to safely enter the flow of traffic at all points
Provide safe, easy access to popular destinations
Reduce the distance cyclists must travel on roads used by motorists
Offer cyclists safer, more pleasant routes of travel without interfering with motor vehicle traffic
To maximize the safety of everyone who uses public roads, contraflow bicycle lanes should only be placed on streets with the following characteristics:
Low volumes of vehicular traffic
Sufficient room to construct a contraflow lane to the left of motorists’ direction of travel
Substantial current use by cyclists
A minimum number of intersecting alleys, driveways, or streets
Enough room for signs advising motorists that a contraflow lane is present
Impact of Existing Contraflow Lanes in Major Urban Areas
Contraflow lanes have existed in cities like Cambridge, Massachusetts; Madison, Wisconsin; and Portland, Oregon, for well over a decade. In each city, they have significantly improved traffic flow, reduced the number of bicycle/motor vehicle accidents, and enhanced the usability of public roadways for everyone. They’re especially helpful around large colleges and universities where hundreds or even thousands of students commute to and from classes on bicycles.
The Role of Safety Bollards in Marking Contraflow Lanes
Safety bollards, with their high visibility and sturdy construction, are extremely useful on streets with contraflow bicycle lanes. They remind motorists to watch out for bike riders. They also remind cyclists to stay within the lane’s boundaries. Together, these two safety measures can help both motorists and bike riders stay safe on the nation’s roadways.
To learn more about varieties of safety bollards, call Impact Recovery Systems today at 1-800-736-5256.
We’ve often been asked if we can provide our SlowStop® Bollards in various colors and differing heights. We pride ourselves on quick product delivery, so it doesn’t always make sense to attempt to stock every color and possible height a customer might want. Instead, we’ve added a line of plastic bollard covers to our most popular rebounding bollard kits that provide additional benefits to simply painting our steel bollards.
In addition to being able to easily select the color and height of your bollard through the use of a bollard cover, maintenance is greatly reduced. Annual painting of scratch or rusting bollards becomes thing of the past. Indeed, corrosion to the steel pipe portion of a bollard is even reduced over the long term due to the protection afforded by plastic bollard covers.
We chose to use Ideal Shield™ bollard covers as our cover of choice because of the superior quality of their 1/4” bollard cover. SlowStop® is designed to be a permanent solution to your bollard headaches, and as such we didn’t want to provide a cheap bollard cover that might wear too quickly. The Ideal Shield bollard cover is a sturdy, durable design, made of a UV resistant HDPE and molded in a single piece.
Covers are available pre-fitted for our 4” and 6” OD steel rebounding bollards. Standard covers will raise the height of the SlowStop® Bollard kits from 42” to 60” for the 4”, and 66” for the 6” bollard. Of course this can easily be reduced by simply cutting off some of the bottom of the bollard cover, although the domed top will always add several inches to the standard 42” height.
Our covers come in ten standard colors:
Custom colors are even possible, however please consider that additional lead time will be needed and minimum quantities may apply.
Covers can be quickly installed by applying the provided special foam tape around the bollard and slipping the cover over the steel pipe. No other hardware is required, however if you would like to secure the cover to the bollard, one or two self-tapping screws added at the bottom of the cover is a simple solution.
A light blue bollard color is also available to add to our that matches the “handicap blue” color of the standard disabled parking legend.
For more information on our bollard cover or our rebounding steel bollard products, please call 1-800-736-5256.
This post is part four of a five part article dealing with types of bollards and their ideal uses. Today I’ll discuss various drive-thru applications where bollards are often found protecting equipment and personnel.
Banks and ATMs
Perhaps the most obvious use for protective bollards is at the traditional bank drive through teller. These areas have expensive equipment and are usually narrow lanes, requiring protection from drivers who might struggle to get close enough to the machine. More recently, all banks have installed drive through automated teller machines (ATM) with similar requirements for protection. These machines are sometimes stand-alone within a parking lot, and because of the large amount of cash held inside, need to be protected from “crash and grab” robberies where a criminal might ram the machine in order to dislodge it and potential haul away the entire machine. Strong bollards are key in these instances.
Fast food restaurants with drive up windows must protect several areas. First is the ordering speaker and menu board. Damage to either can temporarily close an important source of revenue if the restaurant cannot take drive through orders. Second is the building and teller window. Often a turn is needed by a driver to approach the restaurant window to both pay and receive food. Because the driver must reach out the window for these tasks, he usually attempts to be as close to the building as possible, increase the risk of damage. Bollards play an important role in protecting both the physical building and the teller window from accidental impact. These are often large (6” diameter and relatively tall) steel bollards.
Outside Eating Areas
Restaurant owners that chose to maintain outdoor eating areas need to consider the protection provided for their patrons against an errant vehicle. This is especially critical in areas adjacent to roadways, but is also important when near parking areas. Simple wrought iron fencing is not enough to prevent potentially life threatening injuries should a drive lose control of his vehicle. Often due to aesthetic considerations, large concrete planters are chosen to provide protection, but architectural bollards can also be used. In either case, the protection should be professionally engineered to provide adequate protections from potential risks.
Guard Shacks and Payment Shacks
Common to public parking lots and garages is an entrance and exit guard shack, usually manned, designed to house a single teller. Because this is usually the only access point for the secured area, it must be protected from both accidental and intentional ramming. Strong bollards are used throughout these areas to protect both the occupant and adjacent areas where automatic payment machines might be located. In the case of a post-tensioned concrete structure, surface mounted bollards may be required to avoid damage to structural concrete. In this case, rebounding bollards may be the best choice as they can provide more strength that a simple steel plate surface mounted bollard.
Automatic Car Washes
The automatic car wash is a special sort of drive through area with delicate equipment that needs to be protected at all cost. A car wash with damaged equipment often makes no money while waiting for repairs. Modern car wash facilities have automated drive up teller machines that need bollard protection. The entrance and exit of the car wash itself also needs to be protected as drivers attempt to align their vehicles to the tracks and exit the wash. Speeds are generally expected to be slow in these areas, so often surface mounted bollards can be adequate. Relying on plastic warning cones, however, is not recommended.
Adequate protection for employees, customers, and expensive equipment is of critical importance for businesses that operate drive through areas. Failure to provide adequate protection can lead to lost revenue and risk injury to people. In such cases, bollards are an indispensable safety device.
In the next and last installment of this article, we’ll look at a completely new application for bollards, that being in the industrial setting where forklift protection is an important consideration.
We’re often asked if we have recommendations for bollard spacing. Obviously this is a complicated question, as it depends on a great number of factors, such as where the bollards are used, for what purpose, and what is the expected traffic around the bollard. In this article I won’t discuss security rated bollards, because I believe this is a science to itself that requires careful engineering and is not appropriate for a blog post.
The most important consideration for most other application will be whether or not pedestrian traffic is expected in the area, and whether or not the area is a potential emergency exit route. The Americans with Disabilities Act often conflicts with the desired safety and security needs of the bollard spacing designer. Spacing of bollards in any area where pedestrians might need to traverse needs to be a minimum of three feet to allow for wheelchair ingress and egress. Four feet apart is a more common practice to allow extra clearance. Remember to consider any objects that extend from the bollard, especially with some architectural, removable, and lighted bollards. The three foot minimum should be between the farthest extensions of the bollard.
When protecting a utility or other object that does not require pedestrian egress, spacing can be much closer if desired. This usually depends on the expected mass and speed of vehicles travelling in an area when compared to the strength of the bollard. Here your most important consideration is speed of the vehicle. Remember that energy is function of mass times speed squared, meaning that as speed increases, energy increases rapidly. Spacing bollards tighter together, or even connecting them with cross bars, will increase the strength of the barrier. As a rule of thumb, if the spacing between the bollards is less than twice the impact height on the bollard, strength of the bollards will double when impacted together.
An common application of this principle is the horseshoe or u-bollard, most often seen protecting fuel pumping stations. A typical automobile vehicle bumper height is in the range of 17”-19”. Given this, in order to double the strength of the bollard, the two vertical elements should be placed roughly 34”-38” apart. Of course the size of the fuel pumping island will impact whether or not this is feasible.
If automobile traffic is your main consideration, bollard spacing should be no more than five feet apart. Even the smallest automobiles available will be prevented from entering at this spacing. If fork lift or other industrial vehicles are the vehicles to be denied access, consider the width of the thinnest vehicle to be stopped and ensure that your bollard spacing is tighter than that vehicles’ width.
Loading docks often use bollards to prevent trucks from impacting the building outside of the loading dock bumpers. Standard US bays have bumper plates that have an outside dimension of 96”. This matches the outside width of most trailers and shipping containers. Give a 6” gap on either side and space loading dock bollards 9’ apart (inside dimension). One special type of bollard, the rebounding bollard, can often be used to act as a bumper due to the fact that it gives upon impact, slowing the truck into position.
Guarding and Rails
If your protection scheme is to use fencing or guardrail, spacing should be according to manufacturer’s recommendations in terms of spacing to maintained engineered strength ratings. For example, SlowStop’s Flexible Polycarbonate Guardrail uses two meter centers for posts (also rebounding bollards) to maintain its 12,500 pound no-yield rating. As always, be sure to leave adequate spacing for pedestrian egress.
As a final note, you should also consider the need to allow emergency vehicle access to an area. If this is required, you may need to have at least one area with a wide spacing, or at a minimum, a removable bollard that can be quickly removed in order to allow for emergency access to an area. International Building Code 2000 requires that bollards and other guarding devices do not block emergency egress for pedestrians as well.
Try our SlowStop rebounding surface mount steel bollards as the ability to mount a strong bollard directly to the concrete surface gives you flexibility in spacing considerations.
Bollard signshave become increasingly prominent sights in both public and private spaces over the past several years. As cities become more densely packed and the planet grows increasingly urbanized, they will play ever greater roles in public welfare. This is true for the following reasons:
The signage can be prominently displayed, especially when the sign is mounted on top of an existing bollard, such as those found in front of parking spaces. Such bollards typically rise approximately one meter high, providing a handy perch to mount signs on. Traffic studies have shown that the addition of less than a meter in signage height makes a significant difference in how quickly motorists perceive public notices.
With a removable signage arrangement, signs can be changed at will to meet evolving needs. This is a simple matter of installing a standard sized metal sleeve in the top of the bollard, as well as a locking mechanism to prevent removal or tampering.
Attaching signage to existing pedestrian or traffic bollards protects them from damage by motor vehicles, due to the bollards’ exceptionally sturdy structure. Low-speed collisions with signs are common in parking areas, due to careless or inattentive drivers. However, bollards both discourage such accidents (due to their high degree of prominence) and mitigate their effects on important notices when they do occur.
Bollards also enhance signage prominence by the fact that they are traditionally painted high-profile colors, such as bright orange and yellow. This is especially significant in today’s urban environment, where drivers are subjected to ever-increasing competition for their attention from both public and private notices.
Urban planners and safety engineers will face ever-greater challenges in the years to come, as the world’s growing population increasingly flocks to large cities in pursuit of economic opportunities. Bollard signs have an important role to play in ensuring public safety in these tightly packed environments, and their use should be greatly encouraged.
While all bollards are designed to promote public well-being to some extent, a safety bollard is intended specifically for this purpose. Because of this, its construction is likely to be both permanent in nature and highly resistant to efforts to dislodge it.
While this can be beneficial in many ways, it increases the likelihood of damage to motor vehicles, cyclists, and even pedestrians that strike them. It can also impede the entrance of emergency responders, such as fire and police units. Given these facts, safety bollards should only be used when the circumstances warrant. Such situations include the following:
When access to a particular area is likely to be especially hazardous. A prime example is the typical construction site, where heavy equipment, falling objects, and scattered debris all pose significant dangers to unauthorized persons. Scenes of recent motor vehicles collisions, places where sinkholes have opened, and areas where industrial accidents have occurred also fall into this category.
When ensuring the proper flow of traffic is vital to human safety. For example, hospital entrances include dedicated lanes that are only meant to be accessed by ambulances. However, on frequent occasions, misguided motorists drive their vehicles into these areas, preventing emergency vehicles from arriving. In such locations, the prospect of damage to privately owned vehicles is outweighed by the potential harm caused to the sick and injured. Hence, using safety bollards is thoroughly justified.
When a site is a likely target of terrorists or other criminals. Nuclear facilities, for example, use safety bollards as well as other impediments to traffic. This is because tight control of the location’s perimeter is of paramount importance to public safety. Other locations at high risk of attack include police stations in high-crime areas, military installations, and hydroelectric plants.
In summary, while a safety bollard is far from an ideal solution in many instances, it can serve a vital role in protecting sensitive areas from unauthorized access. Use in accordance with sound judgment should be continued.
The Importance of Properly Spacing Pedestrian Bollards
Posted by slowstop | 03 March 2017
A primary consideration in installing pedestrian bollards is the amount of spacing that should be allowed between each unit. Promoting public safety while not impeding legitimate use of the enclosed area, is always the underlying factor. While actual standards vary, the following are guidelines use to determine spacing and location: availability must not be restricted for those with legitimate access to the property, including those with physical handicaps. This is spelled out in US law in the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The spacing scheme used must, on balance, contribute to public safety, not detract from it. This guideline has applicability to bollard placement along combination pedestrian/bicycle paths, where in the past a staggered configuration was used. This often led to cyclists either having to tightly maneuver their way through the bollards or collide with them, causing a number of injuries and a few fatalities.
Bollard spacing must not impede the ability of emergency responders to reach victims of a crime or accident. For this reason, a spacing of approximately eight feet (2.4 meters) is common in many parts of the United States, such as public parks located in low-crime areas.
Tighter spacing of pedestrian bollards is indicated when access control to sensitive locations is important. For example, counter-terrorism experts in New York City recommend placing bollards four feet (2.1 meters) apart as a general rule of thumb. In reality, however, the gap is often much more narrow, sometimes as little as three feet (approximately one meter).
In the event of an automobile crash or other accident, inappropriate spacing of bollards can leave both private and public property owners open to lawsuits. For this reason, potential exposure to civil liabilities must be considered in determining bollard layout.
In conclusion, while standardized spacing measures may be used as general guides, they must not override good judgment in determining the needs of each particular location. As with so many things in life, the question of pedestrian bollard placement defies a simple answer.