As pedestrians go about their day visiting shopping centers, biking along bike paths, and walking through parks, they may not notice the many subtle ways in which their surrounding infrastructure provides safety for them and others. Though simple structures, parking bollard posts are among the most common of these safety features, installed along walkways, parking lots, and storefronts to help protect pedestrians from nearby traffic, or even dissuade vehicle-based vandalism.
Straightforward as they may seem, business owners attempting to choose the perfect parking bollard post will soon find that bollards are as varied as any other site furnishing. They can be decorative, utilitarian, or multifunctional – tall and thin or short and broad – concrete or steel. In this article, we’ll outline some of the primary things you’ll want to consider when choosing the perfect parking bollard for your needs.
Bollards For Parking
The bollard styles below are especially useful for parking lots where safety and security are the primary function, and aesthetics may not be important beyond providing high visibility for drivers.
Basic Standard Safety Bollards
The simplest bollards are no more than vertical steel pipes mounted directly to the surface of a parking lot or sidewalk, or installed a few inches into the ground and topped with simple caps to enclose the pipe. Straightforward as this may sound, the steel pipe is enough to dissuade traffic from impeding pedestrian areas.
However, these basic steel bollards are often finished off with colored bollard covers which fit securely on top of the steel bollard’s frame and can be easily and affordably replaced whenever needed.
One common use for bollard covers is to increase bollard visibility and promote caution, for instance with bright colors like safety yellow or bright red. Or for instance decorative bollard covers are used for seasonal holidays.
These bollard covers allow business owners the convenience and affordability of standard steel pipe bollards without the need for color powder coatings on the bollard itself. Some of these simple colored bollard covers also include reflective tape to make the security bollards even more visible to drivers.
Properties often have a need for temporary roadblocks, in place during certain hours or seasons and not others. When the needs are consistent but not permanent, retractable bollards are a convenient way to block or unblock trafficways when needed. For instance this kind of removable bollard may be useful for streets that serve pedestrians on the weekends and traffic during the week, or parking garages with limited hours of operation.
When store owners need temporary road blocks which are not consistent, or if they want to block driveways with impermanent, movable bollards, they may prefer options like this portable media bollard. Bollards like this one are optimized for portability instead of security and durability.
For instance, instead of steel or concrete structures, they’re often made from simple plastic and rubber, and might come with handles for easy portability. They serve a similar purpose as standard traffic cones, but often have extra features for messaging, allowing them to double as directional or safety signs while also blocking walkways, store entrances, or parking garage exits and entrances.
Bollards For Other Uses
While all bollards are useful for guiding traffic, preventing vehicle entry, and protecting pedestrians, the bollard types below have additional features which make them especially useful in customer-facing environments. These bollards can still be useful in parking lots, but may be especially useful at storefronts or along walkways.
Bollards with Chains
Some businesses link bollards together with chains to add an extra element of blockage, preventing pedestrians from walking between bollards. This set up maintains the simplicity and security of standard steel or concrete bollards with the simple addition of chain loops at the bollard’s top. (Often these chain bollards are also a bit more decorative than standard alternatives, and may be found at historical sites, museums, or other locations working to achieve a stately aesthetic.)
Decorative Concrete Bollards
Decorative bollards made from concrete provide a high level of security while allowing for endless design possibilities. These decorative bollards work well in front of store fronts to inhibit vandalism by vehicle without disrupting attractive storefront aesthetics, or along sidewalks.
Lighted Concrete Bollards
Some of these concrete bollards come with built-in light fixtures making them ideal for walkways and bike paths where pedestrians may need extra lighting as well as security from nearby traffic. These bollards may also be useful in valet parking areas where security is needed but aesthetics are important as well.