Monday, 18 May 2015

Bollards – A Civil Engineering Traffic Control Device that is Indispensable for Traffic Management and Safety

Bollards Types and their Applications

There are different types of structures in Civil Engineering that serve different purposes. A Bollard is one such structure. A Bollard is a vertical structure that comes in different sizes, shapes, and colors. Historically, Bollards were used in harbours to tie the ships and boats when they land. Nowadays, bollards find a wide range of usages. Bollards are made up of timber, steel, concrete, and PVC . 

There are different types of Bollards. They are:

  • Fixed 
  • Retractable 
  • Robotic 
  • Protective 
  • Illuminated 
  • Bell
  • Timed 
  • Artistic 

Fixed Bollards: Bollards are widely used to deflect and divert traffic. There may be places near an office where you want only a pedestrian to walk. You may not want vehicles to interrupt the easy and safe movement of pedestrians. In such situations, short vertical bollards can be arranged in a certain design or sequence that prevent the movement of vehicles. Pedestrians will be easily able to walk around these areas protected by bollards. Fixed Bollards are found at The United States Courthouse at Foley Square. 

Retractable Bollards: Some bollards that are placed on roads are retractable. They are present when there is no vehicle and pedestrians can walk around it. But when a truck has to pass through the road, these bollards can be brought down and merge with the ground. This movement makes the road normal and vehicles can travel smoothly. Retractable Bollards are found at the City Hall, Manhattan. 

Robotic Bollards: Robotic Bollards are special type of bollards that have motorized wheel. This type of bollard is in the ideation and prototype stage with University of Nebraska, Lincoln. These bollards are designed to be moved from a waiting position away from the road to various points on the road using a laptop and satellite tracking systems. These robotic bollards will be very useful as they prevent men from manually working in hazardous areas. An approaching vehicle will capture an image of the road using a camera and send it to a workers laptop. The workers will then use the software in the laptop to arrange the bollards in sequence. This deployment of robotic bollards will save the life of many workers as well as travellers/passengers. 

Protective Bollards: Bollards are also used for public safety during construction. Bollards are placed around heavy machinery in construction project sites. This is to prevent any damage to assets when any random vehicle happens to move haphazardly. The bollard will act as a protective cover and stops the vehicle from hitting the assets. Downtown Brooklyn Courthouse is surrounded by protective bollards. 

Illuminated Bollards: There are bollards that can be illuminated. These illuminated bollards can serve as street signs or used for lighting in streets. Illuminated bollards are found in Bexley, United Kingdom. 

Bell Bollards: Bell Bollards are short bell-shaped bollards. The curves of the bell are used by car drivers to pass over when they make a U-turn or roll around. Bell Bollards are found in Geelong, Australia. 

Timed Bollards: Some bollards come with timers. These bollards will allow access only during certain times of the day. But if there is an emergency, this timing facility can be overridden. Timed Bollards are used at entrance to Columbia University Campus. 

Artistic Bollards: Some bollards have exquisite artwork on them and serve as tourist attractions also. Artistic Bollards shaped like a mushroom are found in Antwerp, Belgium. 

Benefits of Bollards: Bollards can save lives, reduce traffic congestion, and prevent accidents and injuries. Bollards can create better public spaces and reduce illegal parking spaces. Bollards can create Liveable Streets with separate and safe spaces for children and senior citizens to walk around. Calming the roads is achieved using Bollards. Traffic Management and Public Safety is possible through Bollards. You can create separate lanes for buses, bikes, and for landscaping by using bollards.

Bollard is an important topic that is covered under PE Civil Engineering course.

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