How Bollard Posts Can Protect Pedestrians and Cyclists from Vehicle Traffic

Protecting pedestrians or property from vehicle impact is the goal of all traffic safety equipment or procedures. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, every year thousands of pedestrians are killed by reckless drivers. They also note that these numbers are on the rise. From 2010 to 2019, there was a 46% increase in pedestrian fatalities. Similarly, the National Highway Safety Administration notes that there were close to 1,000 cyclists that were killed in 2019.

While these stats are concerning, there are numerous methods of protection that can keep pedestrians safe. Keep in mind, however, not all of them serve the same purpose.

What is a Bollard?

A bollard is a short, vertical post that is typically constructed of steel, cement, or high-density plastic. Bollards are commonly used in commercial or public areas like banks, schools, outdoor shopping centers, or anywhere that vehicle traffic poses a risk to pedestrians or property. Here is a breakdown of the most common types of bollards used for traffic safety.

Metal Bollards. Metal bollards—usually made of steel—are commonly seen in high traffic areas like crosswalks or shopping plazas. The advantage of using a metal bollard is that it offers sturdy protection for pedestrians and cyclists from vehicle impact but—due to its flexibility—will not cause as much damage to vehicles as a cement bollard in the event of a collision. Metal bollards are also easier to install or relocate than cement bollards.

Plastic Bollards. Made from high-density polyethylene, plastic bollards primarily function as traffic delineators that can guide vehicles and pedestrians. They are easier to install and relocate than metal or cement bollards, but they also offer less protection for pedestrians.

Cement Bollards. Cement bollards are sturdy barriers that will protect pedestrians and cyclists from vehicle impact. They are a more permanent option than either metal or plastic bollards, and they are more expensive and time-consuming to install. Cement bollards are usually cemented into a footer that has been dug into the ground.

Where Should Bollards be Used?

Bollards are used to keep pedestrians safe on sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, or other traffic zones. The advantage of using a bollard as compared to a wall or even a curb is that it offers protection from vehicle impact while still allowing for pedestrian mobility.

Additionally, bollards can keep properties like a business or commercial center protected while still making them feel open and accessible in a way that a wall could not. Wheelchairs can also easily maneuver between bollards which makes them a good option for ADA compliance. Here is a brief outline of various environments that bollards can offer protection for pedestrians and the advantage of using a bollard in that context.

Parking lots. Bollards are a great option for parking lots. Bollards can be placed around the perimeter of a parking lot to serve as visual traffic indicators. The space between the bollards is small enough to prevent vehicles from entering but large enough to allow pedestrians, cyclists, or wheelchairs to easily pass through.

Crosswalks. The advantage of using a bollard around crosswalks is that pedestrians can easily maneuver from the sidewalks or walkways to the crosswalk without having to navigate over a curb or other type of barricade. Because wheelchairs can easily pass between them and onto the crosswalk, bollards are also ideal for ADA compliance.

Loading Docks. Bollards are commonly seen around loading docks where trucks or other heavy vehicles must pass between docking bays or loading areas. Bollards can protect property and workers from accidental impacts in loading docks because they are able to stand between vehicles and structures or staff without taking up much space.

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Use Bollards to Protect Pedestrians, Cyclists, and Property

Eagle has a range of bollards that will protect people and property from vehicle impact. For businesses, commercial areas, or other areas that want to offer protection for pedestrians and property, metal bollards are ideal.

Bollard post cover sleeves are a convenient way to maintain metal bollards, but they can also function as traffic delineators or visual markers in places like parking lots, crosswalks, or other traffic zones when paired with a rubber base.

Whatever your traffic safety needs, Eagle has the right product for you. 

If you are looking for other products to protect your people and equipment, view our Guide to Material Handling