Bike Path FAIL: Oh, Bollards!

28 Feb

They stand like sentries at trail entrances, guarding paths dedicated to people on foot or on bikes from the intrusion of motor vehicles. But bollards can be a hazard to more than cars when placed improperly, like this one that mysteriously appeared on the Guadalupe River Trail at the Hwy 880 undercrossing. Woe to the unsuspecting bicyclist rolling along at full speed who hits this iron guard standing in his or her path!

Guadalupe Bollards

Location: Guadalupe River Trail at Hwy 880, San Jose, California, USA.


Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Bike Lane FAIL


7 responses to “Bike Path FAIL: Oh, Bollards!

  1. djconnel

    February 28, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Excellently done, as always! The Highway Design Manual chapter 1000 provides strong language against the use of bollards, and then, only when they are absolutely necessary for safety, provides guidelines for installation with paint warning of their presence. See page 1000-10 in that document. There are dozens of examples along the Bay Trail, for example, like the one you describe which are in total disregard for these guidelines. A friend of mine, Ed McLaughlin of Chico Velo, is dead because of these things, and other, Alex Simmons (whom I know via on-line forums) lost a leg. They’re nasty, dangerous, and need to be removed.

  2. ladyfleur

    February 28, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    I’m feeling hopeful on this one. I tweeted the folks in charge (@SanJoseTrails) and they wrote: “Let me consult with some colleagues, there is no longer a street access point nearby. Working with volunteers to add reflectors.” 🙂

  3. Martin

    March 1, 2013 at 8:31 am

    I agree — bollards are nasty and dangerous, and should be used only when absolutely necessary — i.e. when there is a genuine need to prevent cars and trucks from driving onto a trail. And when a bollard is deemed essential, a good solution is to use the type of bollard that is hinged at the base and gives way if hit.

    In the meantime, I am one of the members of SAVE OUR TRAILS who volunteered to put reflectors on the bollards that the trail designers feel have to remain. I would appreciate it you would help me build a list of those bollards that lack reflectors. You can just comment on this posting, or else write to me at martin-dot-delson-at-gmail-dot-com with the location of the bollard, and I will add it to my list for getting reflectorized tape. (I hope to get them done before the end of 2013.)

    • ladyfleur

      March 1, 2013 at 10:11 am

      I didn’t know you were a trail volunteer. Thanks for your service! I’ll keep an eye out for more than this one. The only other ones I noticed this morning were on a little used pair of entrances where Old West Julian ends at the west bank of the trail.

      I also asked Richard Masoner for his help since he rides much further on the trail than my 3 miles.

  4. ladyfleur

    March 1, 2013 at 11:13 am

    More news from the San Jose Trails folks: “Street access near Hwy 880 is no longer available, bollard doesn’t serve its past purpose – it will be removed.”



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