Ken Ohrn:

Many bike lanes and traffic diverters have light flexible plastic bollards with a pivot at the base, to help discourage motor vehicle traffic.  It is pretty clear that these are routinely run down, and sometimes torn off their base, by scofflaw people driving motor vehicles (you can see black marks on the bollards).

Here’s a different kind of bollard at the intersection of Adanac and McLean, near Woodland Park. It’s made of sterner stuff —  steel pipe, embedded firmly into the roadbed, and probably filled with concrete.




Someone evidently decided to drive over it at speed, perhaps thinking (“what fun!!”) it was another of the light flexible pivoted plastic types (if indeed any thinking at all was involved). According to neighbours, there was a loud crashing sound accompanied by sparks. And somewhere, there is a badly damaged motor vehicle and a person trying to hide the shame of their decision.

I do wonder how the vehicle was able to flee the scene, without leaving a trail of even more parts, and of motor oil.  Or to flee at all.

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  1. I’m picturing a conversation that begins with the guy who lives around the block from there’s out-of-town visitor asking “why on Earth would you drive a Humvee in a city like this?” and him saying “jump in, I’ll SHOW YA.”
    I should stroll by and see if there’s yellow paint on the front.

  2. There was a similar incident on the Central Valley Greenway at Victoria about two months ago… The vehicle was in no shape to flee, and the replacement post has extra reflective tape put on it.

    1. Haha I was going to chip in the same thing, wondered if anyone else had caught that. Wish I’d thought to snap a pic.

      It’s an unwise decision to challenge the bollards.

  3. And good riddance! Look carefully, and you will notice that the bollard’s ‘ears’ are perpendicular to the bike travel lanes. (The ears are used by maintenance for pulling the heavy iron post from its base.) The ears are at the exact height of most bike handlebars. When a bollard with ears extended used to be where the Union St. bikeway crosses the Hawks street park, it caught a friend’s handlebars, leading to a crash that shattered his leg. (That path was later redesigned, brilliantly, by city staff which added a chicane to the ROW to slow bikes in the conflict zone with pedestrians.)

    Too many of these misaligned bollards are on the heavily travelled Central Valley Greenway, along N. Grandview Hwy. between Victoria St. and Renfrew St. Misaligned ears or not, they are dangerous for cyclists, especially at night.

    Personally, I’d rather have plastic bollards in bike lanes, and deal with the occasional scofflaw. Mostly, they bounce back after an impact, and plastic pipes are cheap to replace. But that ‘s a decision for the traffic engineers, who should consider both sides of a judgment call.

    1. I agree, better have plastic bollards or even the occasional car in a bike lane than dangerous steel bollards. Too many unnecessary bollards are being installed, also on the North Shore. Since collisions with bollards are not captured through ICBC the municipalities don’t get the feedback that steel bollards are serious hazards.

  4. Plastic bollards are not only ineffective, they’re dangerous. Once they get knocked down, they leave an almost invisible square bump in the centre of the lane. Anyone that is not paying attention will run right over it.