Road bollards are typically used as safety devices to guide traffic and protect pedestrians from vehicular accidents. However, these versatile objects have a range of other creative uses beyond their standard functions. Below we’ll explore five creative uses of road bollards that you may not have considered before.
Types of road bollards
There are several types of bollards, each with its own specific design and function:
- Fixed bollards: These are the most common type and are permanently installed in place to prevent vehicle access or provide visual guidance for pedestrians.
- Removable bollards: These bollards can be easily removed and reinstalled as needed, making them ideal for areas with occasional vehicle access.
- Retractable bollards: The bollards can be raised and lowered as needed, providing flexible access control.
- Automatic bollards: These bollards are powered by an electric motor and can be raised and lowered remotely, making them ideal for high-security areas.
- Art Installations
Road bollards can be used as a canvas for artistic expression. Local artists can be commissioned to create beautiful and thought-provoking designs on the bollards. These installations can brighten up an otherwise drab street, and they can be changed periodically to keep things fresh. Artistic bollards can be found in cities around the world, including Seattle, Portland, and Bristol, among others.
Road bollards can be used to help people navigate a city or a specific area. By placing bollards at strategic locations, such as street corners or intersections, people can easily find their way around. Bollards can also be used to mark the entrances to public spaces, such as parks and museums. This not only helps people find their way but also makes these areas more visible and welcoming.
- Green Spaces
Road bollards can be used to create small green spaces in urban areas. By replacing traditional bollards with planters or incorporating greenery into the bollards themselves, cities can bring a bit of nature into the concrete jungle. These small green spaces can improve air quality, provide habitats for insects and birds, and make urban areas more pleasant and liveable.
- Public Seating
Road bollards can be used as seating for public spaces. By attaching a bench or seat to the top of the bollard, cities can provide additional seating for pedestrians. These seats can be used in areas where space is limited, such as narrow sidewalks or small plazas. Additionally, the bollards themselves can be designed to be more comfortable, such as by adding armrests or padding.
- Public Art Displays
Similar to art installations, road bollards can be used as a platform for public art displays. These displays can take the form of temporary installations or more permanent fixtures. By placing art displays on bollards, cities can create a more vibrant and engaging urban environment. For example, the City of London has used bollards as part of its “Sculpture in the City” program, which places contemporary art installations throughout the city’s financial district.
Road bollards are versatile objects that can be used for a range of creative purposes beyond their standard safety functions. From art installations to public seating, bollards can be used to improve the urban environment in a variety of ways. By incorporating bollards into urban design plans, cities can create more engaging and liveable spaces for residents and visitors alike. So next time you see a road bollard, take a moment to consider its potential for creativity and innovation.