Don’t just use ‘bollards’ to stop cars in Toronto. Put them where they’re really needed

In response to complaints, Toronto recently installed concrete bollards in front of some subway stations. Designed to deter cyclists, the “bollards” do nothing to help pedestrians. Bollards are railings with pre-mounted posts, which are horizontal and can break. They’re commonly used at rail crossings to stop cars from speeding over them. They can also stick out some 50 to 60 feet, from where they’re installed and not when they’re pushed down.

Despite being a good “rider-friendly” move, the bollards are clearly designed for cyclists, not for pedestrians who are forced to walk around them and risk being knocked over, injured or killed by rushing cars.

Now, I might be in the minority here in the U.S., but this kind of obstacle placement has been my bogeyman for two years. When Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio made New York a “complete” city that was all inclusive and welcoming to all different types of people, he said, “Right now, we’re building tiny homes to get housing to low-income people, but not a lot of it is in places where we need it.” And here we are at 10 days before he takes office in which he will have to find the time and money to ensure safety for the people who actually live in the city. The candidates for mayor were, on the whole, far from progressive on this issue.

Barriers are meant to help our environment, but in this case, they’re adding more traffic to the already congested sidewalks. Bollards would have made more sense to reduce the number of car trips that actually take people to work, rather than offer public assistance to the half-mile-long unprotected spaces that the bollards appear to be.

Read the full story at DNAinfo.

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