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Broadway bikeway bollard braces

Never mind the bollards (Image: @checkereddan via Twitter)

(Image: @checkereddan via Twitter)

From the start, there were problems with the artful blue plastic bollards supposedly protecting riders in the Broadway bikeway.

Tagging was less of an issue than how easily the protective elements were moved despite being filled with hundreds of pounds of sand.

After one of the more concentrated failures of the bollards last week, SDOT is now working on a plan to secure the needle and thread inspired bollards with large metal bracings.

A picture of the new braces was shared on Twitter by city traffic engineer Dongho Chang:B-u1PAxUsAAKPSuWe’ve asked SDOT for information on when the new braces will be installed and what it will cost.

In the meantime, the new Seattle Bike Map is out. Check it out, below.

2015 Bike Map

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26 thoughts on “Broadway bikeway bollard braces

  1. seeing the tagged-up and vandalized streetcar shelters, these bollard things tagged and tipped all over the place, and the general garbage littered around Broadway reminds me why we can’t have nice things.

  2. On a recent trip to Vancouver, I took note of their bike infra which included knee-high cement planters. Even in the grips of winter, the green plants growing in the barriers provided a nice contrast to the gray weather and made for a more pleasant pedestrian experience — of course, they had the added bonus of providing a safety barrier for bicyclists. Would be nice to see more of these along Broadway going forward. Here’s a photo of what I’m referring to:

    • I’ve thought those big planters used in Vancouver were a great idea, too, but I wonder if it makes it harder for someone in a car to see approaching bicycles. I haven’t used the protected lanes there.

    • Those Vancouver barriers are really impressive and far more aesthetic than the awful bollards. They also add some greenery to the streetscape….always a good thing in a city.

      Doesn’t SDOT research what has been done in other cities before they decide what to install?

      • Yes, they do, and I know Dongho is indeed well familiar with the Vancouver design.

        I’m not sure why they picked the smurf design.

      • Probably because it’s less expensive, at least in the short run. I can’t imagine why some SDOT manager, in comparing bollards to the much-classier Vancouver structures, would choose the former, unless money was the only consideration.

    • Hey Rob.would you rather them search for non existent parking while responding to emergency calls? I used to think the same thing until I asked an officer two Fridays ago. The explanation was exactly this, “Good question sir, we had a call here, I have to stop where I can, I’ll move as soon as were finished up, sorry if you had to go around”

      • While responding to an emergency, they create an unsafe condition by parking in the bike lane. Every time I’ve seen an SPD officer parked in the bike lane, they do so without their emergency lights on.

        No, I do not give them a free pass there.

        They can block the main traffic lane if it’s an emergency.

        And to the respondent talking about cyclists being entitled, yes, we’re entitled to not have cars obstruct the bike lanes.

    • Yeah, that can be frustrating when any motor vehicle is parked there, but when it’s an emergency vehicle, I think we have to keep in mind that we don’t know the details of why that cop/fireman/paramedic is there. Emergency services get a pass.

      • I was at a party and this cyclist was complaining about cars parking in the bike lane, and, knowing I ride a bike, said it must bother me too. I said no; you just drive around them. He was astonished I wasn’t as angry as him. I said it just wasn’t that big a deal; as a pedestrian I’ve had to walk around cars/bikes blocking the sidewalk/driveway, and as a car driver there will sometimes be a car/bike/person blocking your lane (often vans loading or unloading something), and yes it happens when you ride your bike, and you just drive around.

  3. Kind of tone-deaf for the SDOT guy to describe the issue as safeguarding and caring for the bollards, when the more important thing is keeping them out of the path of cyclists who could easily fly over their handlebars if they don’t see these things protruding into the downhill bike lane.

  4. Really!?! They’re going to strap them down. How clever and unbelievably unattractive!!!! That’s SDOT for you. While I love the concept of the threads we would all be better off if they just took the things away.

  5. Can we just finally admit that the public art chosen for the streetcar is just completely fugly?

    The whole “needlepoint” theme was ridiculous to begin with and its execution has been tacky and completely out of scale. Those big blue plastic sand-filled bollards, the little eye of needle caps on on the poles, the whatever-those-things-are-supposed-to-be-that-look-like-anal-beads. Its just plain old bad art.

    Would it have killed SDOT’s public art review board to pick something a little more refined and subdued – maybe even some “earth” art installations that incorporated greenery or water features.

  6. I want barriers that are functional and inexpensive. I expect the bollards cost way more than necessary, and they do not serve their function very well. Any idiot would know they would become graffiti targets, and if not secured, would inevitably appeal to the urban cow tippers among us. Why must we constantly spend the most money for the least impact on these types of projects?

    • Things like grey, concrete barriers are functional, but also the most popular targets for taggers. Maybe you have something else in mind?

  7. These have all of elements of a typical City of Seattle project: ugly, ineffective, and shoddy. I would love to know how much they cost.

  8. Now that the brilliant strapping innovation has failed, I do think it’s fair –and a matter of the public’s right to know — to ask how much each of the plastic blue poops cost and whether there’s any hope of getting anything nice to replace them. We’ve done so much better for not much money if you factor into account the longevity of quality materials such as natural stone (granites, basalt) or high-strength reinforced concrete, or corrosion resistant metals. For example, why not make it a community college vocational training project to weld basic planters out of corten steel?