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Guide-to-Buying-Bollards

Guide to Buying Bollards

They line the edges of sidewalks and guard the front doors of buildings. They separate traffic lanes and guide traffic through construction zones. They control access to parking garages and other access points. Across the globe, bollards play an essential role in guiding traffic, protecting buildings and ensuring the safety of pedestrians.

A bollard is a practical tool for guiding motorists and pedestrians while keeping them safe. A pair of bollards at the entrance of a bike path, for example, can prevent vehicles from entering the trail, while maintaining easy access for bicycles and pedestrians. Bollards can be permanent or removable, and are available in a variety of materials, sizes and strengths.

Our dependable, American-made bollards are ready for a wide range of applications. Whether you’re separating the different zones of a parking lot, protecting pedestrians along a sidewalk or restricting access to a vehicle entrance, our bollards will get the job done.

Safety Bollard Options and Types

Safety Bollard Options and Types

The basic idea of a bollard — a sturdy vertical post — might be simple, but there are many different types of bollards, each available in a variety of sizes and materials:

  • Fixed bollards
  • Removable bollards
  • Manual bollards
  • Automatic bollards
  • Lighted bollards
  • Decorative and architectural bollards

The fixed bollard is the most commonly used type. Deploy these robust bollards wherever you need a permanent physical barrier to control traffic or protect buildings and pedestrians. The strongest fixed bollards remain embedded into the ground. In locations where embedded bollards are impractical, bollards can mount with flanges or a base plate.

In some applications, it’s best to have a bollard you can erect and remove as needed. Removable bollards, installed into ground sleeves, are easy to unlock and move to a different location. We offer our removable bollards with a sturdy internal locking mechanism or a convenient external lock.

Manual bollards are another option for clients who need a barrier they can remove as needed. Manual bollards, sometimes called retractable bollards or collapsible bollards, retract down into the in-ground casing to allow vehicle access. They are highly effective for traffic control at the entrances of parking lots, driveways and roll-up doors.

In high-traffic settings that require the frequent raising and lowering of a bollard, an automatic bollard is the best choice. Users can retract or raise these hydraulic or pneumatic bollards on command. The raising mechanism can connect to a variety of control components, allowing the automatic bollard to become a convenient and reliable component of a site’s overall security system.

Lighted bollards are increasingly popular in settings where nighttime visibility and security are crucial. A series of lighted, high-visibility bollards along the pathway between a parking lot and a restaurant, for example, protects patrons during the evening hours and guides them to the nearest entrance. Lighted bollards can also contribute to the overall aesthetic of a building or lot.

Bollards are practical devices, but they can be decorative, as well. Our cast-iron architectural bollards are available in a variety of styles and finishes to match your desired aesthetic. Contact us to learn more about our cast-iron decorative bollard options.

Lastly, caps, covers and WrapCovers can be installed over the tops of existing bollards to protect them and enhance their appearance.

Material and Size Options for Bollards

What are bollards made of? We primarily construct our bollards from three different materials.

  • Steel: Our steel bollards are sturdy, tough and durable. This material is ideal when strength and impact resistance are the most critical considerations. Galvanized steel is an option if additional strength is necessary. Powder-coated steel is an excellent option for those who want protection and increased visibility.
  • Stainless steel: If your bollards need to survive harsh weather and corrosive conditions, stainless steel is an excellent choice, especially for seaside applications. Our manual and automatic bollards are typically stainless steel.
  • Aluminum: Lightweight construction is often ideal for bollards. Aluminum bollards are lightweight and easier to handle than steel bollards, while retaining the necessary strength.

We also work with custom materials like cast iron. Contact one of our experts to discuss your needs and receive a quote.

Our bollards are available in a variety of sizes. Fixed bollards, for example, come in diameters ranging between three and 12 inches. Thicker bollards offer impressive strength and impact resistance, and they have a wide profile that is more visible to motorists. Clients often prefer slimmer bollards for walkways where impact resistance is less of a consideration.

Care and Costs

To extend the life of the bollards you purchase, carefully consider a variety of factors. How much traffic will pass by the bollards, and how fast do the vehicles typically travel? What weather events are common in the area? By choosing appropriately sized bollards with the right material and the right finish, you can ensure that your bollards will last a long time. You can extend their lifetime even further with protective covers, regular cleaning and repainting.

So how much do bollards cost? Average bollard prices depend on all the above factors — type, size, material and finish. There are additional costs for custom or crash-rated bollards. Reach out to one of our experts, and we’ll put together a quote for an order of bollards that meets your unique needs.

Significant Considerations When Choosing a Bollard

Bollards play an essential role in defining traffic patterns, protecting pedestrians and maintaining the integrity of structures. Knowing how to choose the right bollard begins with a careful appraisal of your property. You may need a variety of bollards depending on the pedestrian and vehicle traffic patterns at your site.

As you browse our online storefront and discuss your needs with one of our experts, consider the following factors.

Vehicle Access ConsiderationsVehicle-Access-Considerations

Proper bollard selection and placement begins with an analysis of traffic. Where should vehicles enter and exit? What pathways will you designate for vehicles, pedestrians or bicycles? Fixed bollards establish permanent zones for these different uses, and provide the best impact resistance to protect your property and the people on it.

Future and situational needs at your site might require a variety of bollard types. Removable, manual and automatic bollards give you the flexibility to allow or restrict vehicle access as the situation changes. If you regularly require vehicle access, an automatic bollard system can fit the need while providing superior crash protection to the typical vehicle access gate.

Automatic bollards are a more significant investment than removable and manual bollards, though. Removable bollards are an affordable option that makes more sense for contexts where the bollard might not always be necessary.

Crash and Impact Protection

Prospective buyers should also carefully consider the impact protection they need their bollards to provide. Anti-ram bollards, for example, are a valuable tool for protecting storefronts from vehicle crashes.

Vehicles crash into American commercial buildings 60 times a day, with each accident typically causing thousands of dollars of property damage — and sometimes injuring or killing patrons and employees. Gas stations and convenience stores are particularly vulnerable to storefront crashes, but any business that attracts considerable traffic and has large storefront windows should evaluate their vulnerability.

ASTM International has established a set of crash-rating standards to help businesses, city planners, governments and defense organizations select bollards that will withstand vehicle impact. The crash ratings of bollards derive primarily from their material, diameter and mounting mechanism. To ensure your bollards are sturdy enough for your application, work with an expert who can match your use context with the appropriately rated bollard.

Purpose and Site Furnishing

We encourage clients to consider the different uses, vehicles and pathways at their sites so they can select a complement of bollards that meets all their needs. For instance, parking bollards define areas for parking, directing and controlling the flow of traffic in a lot, while security bollards restrict vehicle access from unauthorized entry.

Bollards also define spaces for pedestrian use that are separate and safe from passing vehicles. Bollards protect outdoor seating areas and walkways alongside a road or parking lot. They guide people from parking areas to entrances and storefronts, and they establish bicycle parking areas and bike paths.

Depending on your property, typical traffic and the various ways people use the property’s space, you may well end up installing a variety of bollards. With careful planning, bollards can be an affordable and effective way of controlling the flow of traffic and people at your site.

Visual and Aesthetic Impact

Sometimes, people place bollards in humble locations to do a simple, practical job. Other times, bollards are part of a storefront, one of the first things clients and customers see as they approach the building. When the appearance of the bollard matters, our clients appreciate the various styles, finishes and covers we offer.

Visual-and-Aesthetic-Impact

Lighted bollards are an excellent choice for improving aesthetic appeal while adding functionality, particularly for businesses that are busiest at night. For clients looking to complement the specific aesthetic of their building with modern architectural bollards, we also offer decorative cast-iron bollards in a wide range of designs.

Our bollard covers, bollard caps and WrapCovers offer additional opportunities for enhancing the visual impact of bollards. Whether you’re buying them with a new order of bollards or refreshing the appearance of some weathered and corroded bollards you already have on site, bollard covers and caps protect your investment while providing a splash of color. We can print our machine-washable fabric WrapCovers with any logo or design you like, allowing you to improve your site’s appearance while taking advantage of an unexpected branding or advertising opportunity.

Pedestrian Safety

Your goal is to ensure the safety of the people who visit your site, whether they’re employees, clients or contractors. Pedestrian safety is a crucial component of facility design. Bollards play a valuable role in making sure the people walking around your site reach their destinations safely.

Unfortunately, pedestrians are increasingly at risk in our country. A 2018 report from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) indicates that pedestrian fatalities in the United States increased by 35% between 2008 and 2017. The GHSA suspects a link between the rise in these fatalities and factors such as increasing consumer preference for larger vehicles and use of smartphones.

While there is no single solution to this problem — safety will be a concern as long as drivers and pedestrians keep distracting themselves — crash-rated bollards are a proven tool for ensuring pedestrian safety. The same anti-ram bollards that protect United States embassies from vehicle attacks can help limit the damage distracted drivers cause at your site.

The safety of your employees and clients is paramount. Our experts can help you identify key areas at your site for the installation of safety bollards and select bollards that provide the crash and impact protection you need.

Selecting a Mixture of Bollards for Your Site

After reviewing site usage and traffic patterns, many of our clients end up choosing bollards in a range of materials, styles and sizes to meet their needs. Selecting a mixture of bollards for your site allows you to save money while getting the functionality and impact resistance you need.

A university, for example, could use bollards in a variety of circumstances. Lighted bollards would keep students safe on their pathways from the parking lots to the dormitories. Cast-iron decorative bollards would protect the front of historic buildings while enhancing their architectural aesthetic. Meanwhile, fixed bollards would guide motorists, separate parking zones and establish safe entrance points for bike lanes and walkways.

Busy factories and warehouses often use a wide variety of bollards, as well. Sturdy crash-rated bollards commonly protect buildings and roll-up doors at truck access points. When a range of large vehicles routinely drive through your lot, bollards are a crucial tool for safely directing traffic. Automatic bollards establish a secure, yet easily retractable, barrier at high-traffic entrances.

Selecting-a-Mixture-of-Bollards-for-Your-Site

Whether you’re considering bollards for your restaurant, factory or school — or any other business, for that matter — our bollards can guide traffic, protect your building and keep your employees and clients safe. One of our experts can help you analyze your needs and determine the most affordable and practical selection of bollards for your site.

Request a Quote From Blockaides Today

Facilities of all kinds recognize bollards are crucial tools for directing traffic, protecting buildings and ensuring the safety of pedestrians. We design our sturdy, American-made bollards for a large variety of uses at a wide range of sites. As one of the premier bollard suppliers in the USA, we’re ready to put our extensive experience to work for you. You can trust Blockaides to construct high-quality bollards with quick turnaround times.

Safety is the highest priority at your site or facility, and it’s our ultimate priority, as well. You can trust us to construct high-quality bollards that meet your site’s needs while providing the necessary crash safety rating, and we’ll help you keep your costs within a reasonable budget, as well. We also develop custom solutions for clients with unique needs.

After you browse the many options at our online store, contact us for a quote. Every client is different, and our experts are ready to discuss the bollards that best fit the various needs of your site.