Parking Lot 101: Understanding Bollards
Planning around traffic forces you to make decisions, and when it comes to managing parking, there is a lot to consider. One thing you may not expect to understand is parking lot bollards. They have surprising utility, and understanding their basic variety and uses could help you save money on construction, design and insurance, so take a minute to learn the basics.
Removable bollards are going to come in a huge range of sizes, shapes, weights and materials. The gist of the idea is to temporarily direct traffic. They can be used to section off a service area, create a safe space for construction or they can control predictably changing traffic. You’ll see them employed often at major event parking like stadiums or convention centers, and they make it easier for staff to keep traffic and parking under control during the largest events. You might also see them in downtown parking lots to protect reserved spaces during peak hours. In general, these are the bollards that are adaptable when you expect conditions to change. Getting the right dimensions is a simple matter of catering to the traffic you expect and the size of the area you need to control. They will obviously go up in cost as they get larger and heavier, so you have to weight how many you might need against how likely it is for a driver to miss the signs and actually hit your bollards.
You’ve seen these in movies. Usually they raise just in time to save either the escaping hero or antagonist. While in the movies they typically take the force of a colliding vehicle, reality is a bit different. In most cases you won’t need giant bollards like that. Instead, you want a collapsible system that is sturdy enough to discourage someone from testing their integrity. These are ideal for places where conditions will change, but infrequently. They can be used to block a parking lot when closed, manage a rarely used service area or respond to urgent security issues. Really, it comes down to labor. You want collapsible bollards in situations where removable options require too much manpower to justify the cost.
These are the easiest to understand. They aren’t intended to ever move. They’re perfect for separating different kinds of traffic. An obvious example is at stadiums. The bollards will separate a roadway or parking lot from a large sidewalk, creating a safe place for pedestrians. They are great for filtering bicycle traffic, golf carts and access vehicles as well. For the most part, there are two primary factors that will push you to use permanent bollards in place of fencing or another alternative. Either they work better aesthetically, or they will cost less.
Parking lot bollards don’t solve every problem, but keeping them in mind will improve your options.