Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chair Mary Hynes, Tear Down These Bollards! @arlparksrec @MaryHynesArl #bikedc @arlingtonva

Here's a tremendously bad idea.  You're going to build a road.  At a crucial point in the road, erect a post.  Just drop a post right there in the middle of the road and see of the cars can navigate around the post without hitting it, causing damage and injury.

Posts in the road make the road narrow.  They make the road hard to navigate.  This guarantees that a certain number of vehicles will hit that post, with severe injuries resulting.  Worse yet, there is no reason for the posts.

Arlington Parks and Recreation is increasingly erecting posts, otherwise known as bollards, on Arlington trails.  Will they stop a car?  Well a car would have to get there first, and many of these bollards are located where no car can reach.  Will they stop a bicycle, injuring a cyclist?  Yes, they will.

Source: Steve Offutt
A bollard in the middle of the trail makes the trail half as wide.  It makes it hard to navigate as a cyclists.  It makes it hard to get by with a stroller.  It makes it hard to get by with a wagon filled with kids, or sports equipment.  Many are not in compliance with the ADA.  The FederalHighway Administration  advises against the use of bollards. It is unnecessary.

How dangerous are they?  The Custis Bike Trail ends across a bridge that goes down to the Roosevelt Island parking lot.  About a month ago, the National Park Service did some construction on that ramp, leaving gravel on the surface.  The next morning, a cyclist came down the ramp, hit the gravel, hit the steel bollard, and suffered severe injuries to the head.  Witnesses who watched EMS care for this cyclist said they never saw the cyclists move again; they said there was a lot of blood.

National Park Service has since removed the steel bollards from both ends of that bridge.

Bollards are unnecessary and are dangerous.  Cyclists have been killed by bollards. It is questionable what threat they are trying to stop.  In most places, cars cant get to the trails where the bollards have been placed. Local bicycle advocate Steve Offutt has long advised Arlington against the use of bollards.

Arlington County Parks and Rec needs to stop installing these dangerous bollards.   And then they need to go back and remove the bollards and collars from the trails.  These bollards are irrationally and negligent.

Map of Bollards in Arlington

View Arlington Bollards in a larger map

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