When you are out and about shopping in town, you may not pay attention to the heavy concrete cylinders that serve as a barrier between the road and the sidewalk. In many places, these barriers are cylindrical, 2–3-foot-high columns that rise out of the sidewalk near the road. Some are painted bright yellow. The purpose of these barriers is to help keep cars from slamming into storefronts and injuring pedestrians and property. Many people are not aware that these vehicle barriers play an essential protective function in the community. They come in all shapes and sizes, including concrete planters and garbage receptacles, and many are hardly noticeable as protective features. The barriers are visible on bike paths, on pedestrian bridges, at marinas, and throughout university campuses. So why are these stationary objects so important?
Bollards, Barriers and Safety
Called bollards by many manufacturing companies, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) has been researching the efficacy of these barriers in low speed crashes. Low speed crashes into storefronts account for 500 deaths each year. There are more than 60 crashes by vehicles into storefronts and vehicles that occur daily. The addition of bollard posts and vehicle barriers helps protect buildings and pedestrians from vehicular impact of up to 30 miles an hour into the fronts of buildings. This year, TTI, with the assistance of a storefront safety consultant, Rob Reiter, created a new standard
for barriers in front of buildings. The standard seeks to create consistency in barriers that can withstand the normal impact speed and damage from vehicles that wreck in low speed, storefront collisions. The barriers would ideally prevent vehicles from moving beyond one foot past the barrier. Rob Reiter became interested in the project when he heard about an incident in Santa Monica, Calif., that injured dozens of bystanders and killed 10. The use of strategically placed bollards could have helped prevent the errant vehicle, which was driven by an elderly male. Reiter was nearby when the incident occurred, and the knowledge affected him profoundly. Distracted drivers are commonly at fault in these dangerous low speed crashes. Having a standard across the nation that will be implemented into building codes has the potential to save hundreds of lives per year. As their testing and standard evaluation continues, TTI is hoping to expand the range of options that buildings can choose from to protect their storefronts and buildings with style.
Choosing a Vehicle Barrier
When evaluating vehicle barriers for your building or storefront, consider the ability of the material to withstand the impact of a vehicular crash. Once you know your durability needs, a company that specializes in vehicle barriers and bollard posts can help you find a unique solution that works with your building’s design to create a safe and attractive barrier against unwanted traffic. For more information about how a bollard or barrier can help maintain the safety around your building, contact TrafficGuard Direct
. We provide a number of bollards and barrier solutions to help you protect your buildings and driveways
from unwanted vehicle traffic. With a number of unique solutions, TrafficGuard Direct is working to provide safe bollard protection wherever needed.