A Bollard Story


A Bollard Story

Most of us remember Mother Goose’s “This Little Piggy.” It has been a long time since anybody tugged on my toes and recited the piggies’ various experiences. But it wasn’t very long ago I teased my own daughters with this nursery rhyme. It came to mind recently for a strange reason.

I went to a favorite local restaurant the other day. I was looking forward to my chicken pita with garlic French fries, but not the restaurant’s parking lot. There are maybe 18 spaces, organized on a slight curve, with a narrow aisle. The lot serves a second restaurant, vape shop, and escrow office. Speed bumps slow parkers, but complicate the tight space. The chicken is more than worth it.

After I stuffed my face, I headed out and couldn’t help noticing the varied state of the bright yellow fixed concrete bollards protecting a three-foot retaining wall surrounding the lot. Or are the posts protecting the cars? Either way, those bollards have a tough job and it shows. That’s when the Little Piggy rhyme popped into my head.

This little bollard got hit by a Ford F-150 with a heavy-duty front-bumper grill guard that might or might not have been way too enormous for this particular parking lot. The truck popped up the bollard’s welded screws and they began to rust, until one day the bollard had to be removed entirely. It was no match for the Ford, but did its job bravely.

This little bollard got hit by a 2003 Toyota Camry going just a little faster than it ought to be. It could have been the cell phone’s fault, or the music was too loud. And maybe the breaks need fixing. The crash was quiet and the driver unphased, but the bollard took quite a beating. It’s still standing up in its lopsided way and hopes for no further retreating.

This little bollard has been lucky so far. It’s escaped all abuse besides a few dings that mar its bright yellow paint. Days are nerve-wracking as one of the last bollards standing, but it’s determined no matter how bleak. All the Tesla drivers – autonomous and human – are very careful not to dent their pretty cars because repairs can take 2 to 37 weeks. 

Article contributed by:
Melissa Bean Sterzick
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