What is a Bollard?
Have you ever been scanning for a space in a parking lot when you accidentally bump into a barrier that kept you from going over your lane? Have you ever bumped a post that held you from driving into a building? The modern parking lot or deck is full of many subtle structures and stops that keep traffic where it should be, including structures to keep you from bumping into other cars, walls, or structures.
One of the most critical structures in any parking deck or lot is the bollard. To the everyday driver, bollards are concrete or metal posts sticking out of the ground, but they’re much more important than they look. Let’s learn more about what bollards are and how they keep your structure or parking lot safe.
Basics on Bollards
A bollard is a short, thick, strong post installed on sidewalks, parking structures, parking lots, or other trafficked areas to create a protective barrier and keep vehicles where they’re intended to be. Bollards are also known as bollard barriers.
What are Bollards Used for?
Bollards are barriers that keep traffic and vehicles where they’re supposed to be. You can think of bollards as a fail-safe from keeping traffic and other potential issues well away from your building. Bollards work together with parking blocks for an organized and safe parking lot.
How Tall are Bollards?
There are no set rules and regulations for bollards so they can be as short or as tall as you want them to be. Because bollards are meant for safety, you must choose something tall enough and strong enough to do its job. The most common bollards are approximately two to three feet tall.
Bollards vs. Parking Blocks
Do you have to install both bollards and parking blocks in your structure? Won’t your lot’s curb stops keep people from ramming your building without installing bollards? Maybe. Parking blocks and curb stops serve their purpose to keep slow-moving vehicles from ramping over their parking spot but won’t always stop a car going moderate speed or a vehicle that isn’t where they’re supposed to be, to begin with.
Bollards are stronger and more protective than any curb stop or parking block. A vehicle that can drive over a parking stop can’t drive through bollards or stronger structures. It’s up to the lot owner to decide how much protection their parking lot or building requires, but bollards are always recommended for any situation where a vehicle could drive accidentally (or intentionally) into your structure.
Types of Bollards
Fixed Bollards – As the name implies, fixed bollards are permanent bollard installations. Fixed bollards are among the strongest of all bollards and can take a severe hit without compromising.
Removable Bollards – Removable bollards allow for quick installation and de-installation, depending on your needs. Removable bollards are generally not as strong as fixed bollards.
Automatic Bollards – You can get the best of temporary and permanent bollards with automatic bollards. Automatic bollards can be kept in the ground or extended upwards, depending on your needs and time of day. An automatic bollard can be kept up for standard traffic times, then pulled down when you need more space.
Decorative Bollard – Decorative bollards are strictly for looks and should only be used when there are other protective barriers between buildings and driving areas.