Placement Considerations for Bollard Posts
Bollard posts play an integral role in helping to protect people and property, such as storefronts and drive-up ATMs, from damage. Placement of the bollard posts can affect the way the public interacts with an area and how effective the vehicle barriers are in accident prevention. Poorly placed bollards can cause frustration among drivers and customers. Recently, a case in Minnesota highlighted how improper placement can affect necessary traffic. The Hibbing Daily Tribune reported that anyone trying to reach the blue mailbox outside the post office was hindered by the recent placement of a bollard post. According to the article, “customers [complained] that they [couldn’t] reach the snorkel, or mail chute, and [that the situation] has even led to drivers damaging their vehicles.”
Tips for Bollard PostsInstead of providing necessary protection, these improperly placed bollard posts can become a hazard on their own. Keep these bollard placement standards and tips in mind to properly place your bollard posts for safety, security and/or decoration.
- Consider the Americans with Disabilities Act. A common complaint against bollard posts has come from inadequate spacing for pedestrian traffic, including those who may be in wheelchairs. If there will be pedestrian traffic where you are placing bollards, maintain a minimum of 3 feet between the barriers to account for disabled pedestrians. This distance should be measured from the furthest protrusion of the bollard to ensure the safe passage of most wheelchairs and motorized chairs.
- Remember local codes and ordinances. In public spaces, bollard posts and placement will need to take into consideration the needs of fire trucks or other emergency vehicles that may need to gain access to the area beyond the vehicle barriers. Fire lane bollards, in particular, need to allow first-responders to gain entry to the area while keeping all other traffic out.
- Bollard spacing should never be wider than 5 feet. In order to protect against vehicle traffic, bollards need to be appropriately spaced. A distance of 5 feet should provide enough protection to cover the minimum width of a car. If your purpose is to prevent other types of vehicle access, always consider the minimum width of the vehicle.
- Private use bollards have different requirements. If you are using the bollards on private property, you may have more flexibility with placement. Consider your safety needs as well as emergency access when planning to install your bollards.
- Loading dock bollards protect buildings. Space these by considering the minimum width of trucks and other containers that will be moving around in the space.