The Bollard Dilemma

The Bollard Dilemma | Delta Scientific

The security bollard is an effective and cost-efficient way to regulate traffic flow and prevent vehicular egress of any kind into an area. These can be permanent fixtures designed specifically for protection or temporary structures meant as a placeholder until they are no longer needed.

At times, however, what is meant to be temporary often becomes a permanent solution to a problem that has long since passed. Today, one city, in particular, has a bollard problem and is working hard to find a solution.

Passing Permanence

St. Louis, Missouri has found itself in a crime and traffic safety dilemma that started over 30 years ago. In an effort to stave off rising crime rates, the city sectioned off multiple streets using concrete bollards dubbed “Schoemehl pots” after the mayor who was a big proponent of these closures.

Trials in the mid-1980s were an apparent success, as cordoned-off streets saw much lower crime rate increases than neighboring ones without bollards. As a result, more and more avenues were sectioned off, creating cul-de-sacs that, while being very beneficial for families, has left traversing these areas by any vehicle almost impossible.

The Cost of “Temporary”

Decades later, fewer and fewer St. Louis streets have incorporated these bollards as a way to keep traffic and criminal activity at bay, with dubious results. In addition, as more citizens look to eliminating what many consider to be eyesores they come face to face with the cost of removal.

Even temporary barriers are costly to uproot and transport. In Cleveland, OH, residents are faced with similar problems as repeated installation and removal of safety barriers downtown create funding issues that are quickly adding up. With the number of bollards that are present on St. Louis city streets, they would be facing similar problems as well.

The Best Alternative

While removal of the barriers has some dreading a rise in crime, there are some solutions that, if instituted properly, could achieve the same effect while still allowing access. Installing portable security barricades would both block the streets from domestic traffic while allowing emergency vehicles passage when needed. These portable options could be utilized in cities like Cleveland as well, keeping downtown secure when needed but open to traffic quickly.

Even permanent commercial barricades could be utilized in a similar manner, keeping the quiet cul-de-sac nature of St. Louis streets until an emergency arises. To learn more about the effective deployment of portable barriers and the installation of permanent barricades, contact Delta Scientific today.