Bollard Porn

Anyone who is upset about cars driving on the Hudson River Greenway or has doubts that New York City’s bus rapid transit experiment will work without physical barriers to prevent motorists from driving and parking in bus lanes will find profound satisfaction in this video from Manchester, England.

Watch as scofflaw motorists try to sneak into an express bus lane and are impaled on high-tech retractable bollards…

Thanks to David Snetman for the link.

  • Amazing.

  • Those are absolutely beautiful. Makes one tear up with joy. I hope the city gets some extra money for any damage to the bollards…

  • Fascinated

    Well…”profound satisfaction” at people who are injured and smack their heads against the windshield? At a baby in a car seat who at the very least got a rude shock and probably a nast bruise where the seat harness restrained him?

    In the abstract, as a cyclist who routinely gets cut off and sideswiped, I do hate cars. But I find that they tend to be driven by people, not monsters.

    We should check our joy in situations like these.

    The first one was hilarious, though. (HATE being the wet blanket.)

  • Yeah, schadenfreude has a bad side to it.

    Yes, cars are driven by people, who sometimes do stupid things even when they darn well know better. I will not stop taking joy at people who get dope-slapped for their dumbness.

    Well, OK, maybe I should instead pity them for their dumbness. Every kid needs a good dope-slap from his or her mom once in a while, and pity the adult who still needs such reminders.

    That said, maybe they should put a sign up saying “You dummy, you’re going to get hurt if you try to sneak in here!”

  • Driving in the center of Manchester has been made to be extremely frustrating at many levels. That is probably why these cars were trying so hard to get through this bollards, rather than have to circle around many blocks.

    Certainly causing harm to people or cars should be avoided and can be avoided.

    This is actually one my favorite streets in Manchester where the traditional building has been adapted to be much more friendly to the improved sidewalk environment.

    It was very nice how pedestrians immediately came to the aid of the drivers. Now that would not happen on just any street!

  • Beautiful!

  • As far as the schadenfreude goes, I say heap it on. These people are in control of a vehicle that range in size from half a ton to several tons and are usually advertised from going from a dead stop to Real Fucking Fast in less than 10 seconds.

    The black SUV was acellerating through a crosswalk with a baby carriage right up front. Not smart. If the SUV wasn’t stopped dead by the bollard, it could have spun into the crowd waiting on the sidewalk which means dead baby.

    I don’t have much sympathy for people who act that stupidly with something so hazardous.

  • Lane Wyden

    What a fortunate accident that Snetty’s video search for “Erect, Pump-Action Poles” turned up this unexpected gem.

  • Fascinated,

    Yeah, that occurred to me before I wrote “profound satisfaction.” But did you notice that the driver with the baby in the car nearly ran over two stroller-pushing women in his attempt to beat the bollards?

  • Fascinated

    Aaron: Yes, you’re absolutely right about the last SUV. Two strollers right next to him. Idiot, for sure. (And if he did beat the bollards, then what? Or is the lobster-trap aspect part of the deterrence?)

  • crzwdjk

    Yeah, it’s schadenfreude. But not really the “ha ha, idiot got hurt” kind so much as the “not so high and mighty now are you” kind. People in cars feel a sense of invulnerability and an entitlement to go anywhere they want at whatever speed they choose protected (or so they think) by their two-ton metal box. For once, though, they overestimate their abilities and finally get a thoroughly deserved comeuppance.

  • Great soundtrack with the video.

  • muffintin

    Driving in the center of Manchester has been made to be extremely frustrating at many levels.

    Good! Does it discourage people from driving?

  • “… impaled on high-tech retractable bollards”

    Just for the record, these retractable bollards are found in cities all over Europe – they are not at all uncommon. Even private parking lots and garages use them – but when we suggest them to DOT at community board meetings, the look we get is the same as when we suggest bike lanes should be pigmented: “Inconcievable.”

  • They also have these at many colleges & universities here in the US. The only real concern when installing them (aside from price) is adequate depth. Here in NYC, that’s sometimes a problem, with utilities, subways, etc. running under the street.

  • Snetty

    Lane Wyden has besmirched me. I was NOT searching for “erect, pump-action poles” when I found this video. The very nerve!

    I was searching for “choked by bollocks video” and accidentally typed “bollards.”

  • drewo

    Great video. Made my afternoon.

  • drewo

    And a good smack in the head is just what those drivers deserved.

  • Robert

    Well the Time Warner Center uses these, and I think I have seen them in front of City Hall as well. But protect protecting buildings is more important then protecting people in the minds of politicians apparently.

  • Robert
  • Steve

    Love that megabollard, Robert. Time for the technological advances financed by our war-on-terror tax dollars to finally be used to benefit bicyclists instead of to surveil and harass them!

  • NR

    This cheered me up. Streetsblog does it again.

  • I can see Channel 7’s tease if ever threatened to be used in NYC:

    “Bollards that kill, at eleven”

  • Hannah

    The 200+ sidewalk bollards around the Time Warner monstrosity are retractable?! Well then I’ve wasted time lobbying for a design that combines bollard and bike parking. (Just say no to retractable bike parking!) Guess I should focus on supplementing the bollards with city racks.

    Hannah

  • David Chesler

    Just to be clear, are we sure that the drivers were aware that bollars were going to come up quickly after the bus passed? If so, they got what they deserved.

    I’ve been in an accident similarly: I was taking a disabled person to a medical appointment, using a plastic 2-seat car (2500 pound curb weight — about as light as they get.) A truck in the oncoming direction lost part of its load, including (as I later found out) a wheel chock that was on the travel lane I was using. The SUV in front of me passed over it with no problem — they do have their benefits even on paved roads — but it caught my undercarriage, jarring my passenger and destroying a nasty-to-replace water pipe that ran from the front radiator to the mid engine.

    It’s normally a safe assumption that the road that the car in front of you just passed is also safe for you to pass. You can’t always see in front of the car in front of you, especially if it’s high and you’re low (another reason people favor SUVs.)

    I didn’t expect a wheel chock in the middle of the road, and I wouldn’t expect a bollard to suddenly appear.

  • I think it’s fairly clear that the first driver knew there were bollards there, that they went down to let the bus through, and that he wasn’t supposed to follow the bus into that space. Knowing all of that, I think it’s irrelevant whether he also knew how fast the bollards would come back up. They knew they didn’t belong there, they attempted anyway, a bollard stopped them. Seems fine to me.

    As for the other two, they may not have known bollards were there, but then why were they following the buses so closely to get into the lane? It seems clear they at least knew they weren’t supposed to be in that lane, and the tailgating method of getting into the lane implies to me that they, too, suspected they had a time limit for sneaking in.

  • Sproule

    “Profound satisfaction” was exactly what I experienced while watching these great vids.

  • Rob

    No…not all of the Bollards in front of TWC are retractable, just the ones that allow admission into the parking areas are. These are “Bomb Bollards” not “people bollards”

  • tweedledee

    Retractable bollards are installed around the U.S. Capitol and White House too.

    The Manchester video starts off showing the huge, illuminated signs that warn drivers about the bollards. Those drivers knew the bollards were there. You can plainly see them tailgating and accelerating as they try to beat the rising bollards. One driver who hit the bollard admitted as much.

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