The demand for bollards has increased over time due to the rapid advances in technological development of transportation in the form of cars, buses, vans, lorries and motorbikes and coaches.
As time progressed and streets became wider and busier, it became apparent that the chaos caused by the increase of motorised vehicles and pedestrians on the road needed to be managed. City planners recognised the need for was sturdy, low maintenance structures that would have the capability to withstand impact and control vehicle direction.
Role-players soon realised the potential of bollards. These short, pole-like structures could ease and control even the busiest traffic junctions. The Traffic Calming organisation noted the many uses of bollards with a particular focus on controlling the space that separates vehicles and pedestrians. As an added safety measure, bollards were placed along the edge of sidewalks to prevent vehicle access on walkways, especially during rush hour. As a result, bollards reduced the risk of accidents, cautioning drivers to slow down, divert, and align their vehicles in regular traffic flow.
Another use of traffic bollards is to control the flow of traffic by limiting the type of vehicle that can pass through a certain area. For instance, by spacing the structures intermittently, cars can be prohibited access, whereas bicycles, motorcycles or other specialised vehicles can still pass through. Removable bollards also offer the option of managing a space where larger vehicles may need to pass through occasionally.
Marking off and protecting pedestrian areas, especially in city centres, is another common use of traffic bollards, allowing people on foot to enjoy safe passage in demarcated areas.
The development of the bollard has become vital to road safety and the safety of society, and continues to see advancements as technology develops. For instance, a new type of bollard is in development that will collapse when vehicles strike it at a certain speed, and then reform once it has passed.
Bollards come in a variety of shapes, colours and sizes but the purpose thereof remains the same – to create a safer environment for all road users.