Traffic bollards stand up to high-impact crashes
More and more government agencies are installing bollards for security and vehicle traffic control. Bollards, which are metal or plastic posts installed in pavement, can be ordered in removable and collapsible models, and often are installed on building or drive perimeters.
Traffic bollards help secure restricted-access areas. The units assist in providing the security needed to stop unwanted vehicle access. Bollards also provide protection against increasingly common “ram-raiding” activities, in which criminals ram a storefront or other building and dash off with cigarettes, cash registers and other valuables.
Some of the many locations where bollards make sense include: government buildings; bike paths; access roads; municipal and athletic field parking lots; schools; and fire access lanes.
Governments at all levels – local, state and federal – are frequent purchasers of bollards. Here is a small sample of public-sector agencies that announced or opened bids for bollards over the past three months, according to Albany, N.Y.-based BidNet, which is a government bid aggregation and e-procurement service provider:
- A municipal sports complex in California.
- The U.S. Naval Station and wharf in Mayport, Fla.
- The Veterans Administration Medical Center in Asheville, N.C.
- A municipal water lift station in New Jersey.
- A government communications building, part of site-hardening construction for a local government agency in Arizona.
State and local governments should have more money to buy bollards and other security products in 2009, now that Congress boosted the federal Department of Homeland Security’s fiscal year 2009 budget by 10 percent over the previous year’s budget.
“Congress restored cuts in grant funding proposed in the president’s budget, and provided state and local authorities increased flexibility to use grants to cover operating costs,” P.J. Crowley, senior fellow and director of Homeland Security at the Center for American Progress, told GovPro.com. “This will be extremely useful as cities and states cope with the fiscal crisis. As the economy continues to struggle, governors and mayors will be hard-pressed to maintain local budgets that support law enforcement, emergency management, public health and infrastructure spending that broadly contributes to national preparedness and security.”
Bollards 1, drunk drivers 0
This photo says it all. It shows a TrafficGuard RP 3506 Keylock lockable and removable bollard that kept a good-sized truck from penetrating a gate at a U.S. Air Force installation in Nebraska.
Mike Schram of Geneva, Ill.-based TrafficGuard Direct offered these comments on the image. “We received the photo with the following quote from an official at the Air Force base: ‘This accident happened in April; the driver was a civilian, highly intoxicated when he struck the bollard outside our gate. He wasn’t hurt, but I can’t say the same for his truck … The final score: bollards 1, drunk drivers 0.’”
“This photo came to us shortly after the first installation,” Schram explained further. “We have since received additional orders for our TrafficGuard bollards for both inside and outside of the secure perimeter at the Air Force base.”
Schram was thinking bollards when he started the business.
“I founded TrafficGuard in 1999 with one product – the TrafficGuard Single post – based upon my experience with parks and trails and the need for a professionally designed standardized product in lieu of the haphazard welding-shop products I had seen over the years,” Schram said.
TrafficGuard Direct’s bollards help solve vehicle access-control problems with three basic categories: collapsible hinged bollards, removable bollards and parking bollards. All bollard styles are available in locking versions.
TrafficGuard offers a Bollard Buyers Guide that discusses the advantages of buying a standardized product, the many ways bollards enhance security, and bollard designs and materials. To download the guide, click here.