How Security Bollards Can Help Keep Eyes on the Street in Pedestrian Areas

Private Sector Security | Delta Scientific

Journalist Jane Jacobs developed the concept of “eyes on the street” as it relates to public safety over 50 years ago. The theory holds that pedestrians tend to feel safe in public places that attract a lot of people because the crowds perform informal surveillance of the area and can draw attention to any potential threats. According to the theory, to draw the necessary numbers of pedestrians to keep “eyes on the street,” the public space and the area around it must be accessible and attractive.

City planners and municipal organizers may need to limit access to certain areas to pedestrians only. The trend of vehicle ramming attacks has escalated over the past five or six years, with incidents reported all over the world. Vehicles offer terrorists a number of advantages over explosives as a weapon: They require little skill to operate, they can be obtained easily, and within a short space of time, they can inflict large amounts of damage. Pedestrians in fear of a vehicular attack may not congregate in public spaces, which makes it difficult to maintain eyes on the street. However, security measures that interfere with the aesthetic of a public space may also discourage people from gathering. Security bollards from Delta Scientific can help encourage eyes on the street in a number of ways.

Contact Between the Buildings and the Street

Some property owners erect high walls or solid fences along the perimeter for security purposes. While this may help to keep the building itself more secure, it actually minimizes the safety of the public spaces surrounding it, which are safer when observation of street life by the people in nearby buildings is unimpeded. Our crash-rated DSC720-1M security bollards are strong enough to stop a 15,000-pound flatbed truck traveling 50 miles per hour from penetrating more than one-half of a meter onto a building’s property. Though taller than some of our bollards, they do not obscure the view of the outside from inside your building.

When you need temporary protection for pedestrian areas due to a special event, we also offer portable bollards. These are certified to be as effective at stopping a hostile vehicle as permanent bollards but are relatively lightweight and do not require excavation to install.

Efficiency of Lighting

Even when surveillance takes place informally, it needs adequate lighting to be effective. This is usually not a problem during the day, but it can present a challenge at night. To increase visibility when natural light is unavailable, our security bollards can be equipped with internal warning lights.

Attractiveness of Spaces

City planners who want to keep eyes on the street should give some thought to how security barriers may affect the overall aesthetic. If the barriers do not serve to beautify the space and blend into the overall design scheme, the space may start to seem less attractive to pedestrians. If the space is less attractive, pedestrians are less likely to frequent it. The perceived lack of safety from the unattractiveness of the space may become a self-fulfilling prophecy because when fewer people are around, there will not be as many eyes on the street.

Already unobtrusive, our bollards can match your existing aesthetic with cast sleeves in several materials to fit over the crash tubes. Choose from fiberglass, aluminum, or brushed stainless steel.