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Parking Bollard Selection and Spacing: All You Need to Know

Parking bollard selection and spacing is more an art than a science.  Instead of hard and fast rules that govern their placement, bollard placement is guided by general criteria adaptable to almost any local situation.  These include assessing the situation, balancing security and access needs, and preparing for emergencies.

  1. Assessing the situation means considering the environment in which the bollards will exist.  For example, a low security, low traffic parking lot is usually best served by installing rebounding bollards that bend upon impact.  This will prevent damage to vehicles while giving the bollard a high degree of visibility.  Rebounding bollards are often used at loading docks; they give the trucker a visual guide while backing up but will not damage the trailer in case of impact.
  2. Balancing security and access needs means weighing the needs of people with legitimate business to access a facility against the importance of keeping dangerous or undesirable people away.  For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act mandates that any area open to pedestrian access have a minimum clearance of three feet to allow for wheelchair traffic.  On the other hand, bike or walking paths require a tight group of permanently mounted bollards to prevent stray vehicles from crossing into the trail.  One way to deter criminals and trespassers without hindering access is to use lighted bollards that illuminate an area after dark.
  3. Preparing for emergencies means keeping in mind that the more secure the site is, the more difficult evacuation may prove to be in case of a fire or other emergency.  For example, placing parking bollards in a tight formation will provide powerful access deterrence.  However, those same barriers could impede people trying to get out of the building as quickly as possible.

Keeping these three principles in mind will help you to make the right parking bollard selection and spacing decisions when it comes to your location.  Chosen and installed properly, these simple products can do a world of good.