The Application of Bollards —— Visual Guides for Traffic and Landscaping

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Bollards have become a ubiquitous part of the modern landscape. Planners and architects use them to manage both pedestrian and vehicle traffic, enhance landscape and architecture, light pedestrian pathways, secure and protect buildings and people, and provide bike parking.

rising bollard

Traffic line or street bollards

Traffic bollards are used to guide traffic toward appropriate areas while ensuring clear sight lines and allowing pedestrian access. They guide cars by creating roadway demarcation, or prevent access to restricted areas like bike lanes, public squares, and traffic islands. On roadways without curbs, they can be used to prevent vehicles straying from the street. Sometimes they are used in association with other traffic calming methods, like speed humps or one-way streets, to prevent vehicles from attempting to avoid other traffic management elements. Architectural bollards such as these are most commonly used in public spaces.

Traffic line or street bollards

Pedestrian bollards

In many landscapes and properties, decorative bollards are used to define distinct pedestrian areas. A line of them around a building may define its perimeter and add architectural flair. Perimeters can also be made around a playground or park, allowing easy access but discouraging its use as a throughway. When linked with chain, bollards can encourage pedestrians to stay on marked paths, without forming a closed barrier that prevents all crossing. Lighted versions illuminate pedestrian pathways at night. Solar powered lighting is becoming the most frequently used form of lighting bollard, since each unit functions on its own with very little maintenance. Our gallery of landscape bollards highlights the range of options available.


Construction bollards

On roadway construction zones, temporary posts are often placed to define and protect the work area from traffic. These delimiters are usually made of flexible brightly colored plastic ringed in reflective tape, and sit on removable rubber bases. They are usually spaced closely, to provide a continual visual edge to the oncoming traffic.


Bike lane separation

Separated bike lanes offer safety to cyclists and lower driver stress. They encourage more cyclists to the road. However, flimsy delimiters are often ripped off when run over, leaving cyclists vulnerable. Hard boundaries can prevent emergency vehicles from reaching the curb. Tough flexible bollards, made of polyurethane, are a better solution. Check out the options in substantial flexible bollards for bike lanes (as well as parking lots and lane delimiters).


Security bollards

Security bollards are also visual guides to pedestrians and traffic, but are additionally built to resist vehicle impact. These are often made of steel and filled with concrete, but can be decorated with a fine finish or a cover. In general, the local substrate and installation are essential parts of impact resistance: a strong bollard set poorly will offer little resistance. Engineering oversight is therefore essential. Different applications will also have different impact resistance needs.  


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