On separating cars and pedestrians

I hope readers haven’t been too bored with the ongoing series of stories of how well some cities protect / separate pedestrians from motorists.

Here’s another example, where a series of large granite bollards not only delineate the separation, but provide an enormous measure of subjective safety. Don’t you just feel comfortable on this sidewalk, that no motorist is going to take it over for a “just for a moment” parking space, or a careless overrun of the curb that leaves the motorist unscathed (so much redundancy is put into road design to protect the motorist, usually by transferring the risk to adjacent pedestrians and cyclists …)?



I see little holes drilled in those granite bollards, so possibly a chain will be put in place.  In that way, the bollards will also direct pedestrians to the official crosswalk points. I’m not arguing for bollards everywhere (although they are common throughout downtown Amsterdam last time I was there) but they are useful in some places. Ottawa’s motorist-centric planners are unlikely to approve of such measures, however, for fear of … something.

Eventually they might come around, since more and more North American cities are using tough built language to keep cars in their places.

In the picture, notice also the post beside the bollards. It’s a granite post, with etched recesses near the top.  Small pedestrian wayfinding symbols will go there — indicating popular directions / destinations, the way to W/C’s  (non existent in Ottawa, of course), public parking, historic sights, or whatever.

The photo above is from the bustling metropolis of Plymouth, MA.


One thought on “On separating cars and pedestrians

  1. I like the idea, but find it strange they are only at one location on the corner. If they really wanted people to use the cross walk, they should put another set to the left of the walkway, and on the other side of the street.

    It’s like putting up a fence to keep people out, but with multiple openings defeating the purpose of the fencing.

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