Bollards barrier are security fixtures that serve a variety of purposes from deterring vehicle ramming and preventing minor collisions to safeguarding sidewalks, building entrances, utility enclosures and landmark or planting areas. They are also used to regulate traffic flows and temporarily block roads for events or road closures. They can be permanent/static, removable or retractable. Some are crash rated, meaning they have been tested to ASTM impact resistance standards.
What are bollards called in the US?
Crash rated bollards are typically designed to stop vehicles at speeds between 30 and 60 mph. They may be decorative, but the most common use is to prevent vehicle crashes with storefronts which account for 23% of all vehicular incidents resulting in property damage (as opposed to fatal accidents and severe injuries).
While most often used as an active security measure, they are often installed around historic sites for aesthetic reasons. Prudent architectural selection of aesthetically pleasing bollards introduces visitors to buildings in a style that complements the main structure; it plays a role in traffic calming and parking space design; and provides a respectful portal through which pedestrians ascend to the building’s main entrance.
A bollard system is usually comprised of several units of varying height, stand-off distance and structural capacity that are placed in a configuration to meet site requirements for safety, traffic regulation or architectural considerations. The spacing of the units should be based on ADA accessibility considerations, ASTM impact ratings and crash testing, traffic regulations, safety risks and liability and insurance considerations.