Flexible Signposts and Bollards Withstand Impact, Reduce Costs
Nearly every parking lot is dotted with signposts and bollards, many bearing dents, scrapes and scars from repeated contact with trucks and cars. Fixed signposts and bollards are an expensive part of any parking operation. They are required by law but difficult to maintain. And they often are damaged by vehicles and often do damage to vehicles in return – imposing high costs for replacement and insurance claims.
Parking lot owners and operators face the challenges of keeping signage upright and protecting pedestrians. In a high-traffic area, signposts and bollards take serious abuse. Repairs and replacement costs add up. However, flexible signposts that can bear the brunt of a moving vehicle and still return to vertical are an affordable and practical alternative to traditional posts and barriers.
John Kandra, President of Flexpost Inc., said his company’s flexible signposts can accommodate high forces, but are still solid enough to hold the weight of regulatory signage. The bonus for the owner or operator is added safety, lower maintenance costs and fewer damage claims.
“It is very common to see signposts bent, and some so badly bent that they become eyesores, as well as hazards to vehicles and pedestrians,” Kandra said. “The liability for these damaged signs can be considerable.”
A flexible signpost is made of steel and galvanized parts. The units can be installed on many surfaces, including concrete, asphalt and dirt or grass. The base of the unit is bolted, anchored or adhered to the ground, depending on the type of surface. Just above the base is the spring-loaded post that absorbs impact with 360 degrees of flexibility.
The design is modular so installation and repairs are simple. Mounting brackets hold signage, with no drilling necessary. Many options are available with different heights, colors and accessories.
Flexible bollards, the company’s latest creation, are meant to take the place of fixed concrete or steel bollards. They have the same flexibility of the standard flexible signpost with the wider base and rigid appearance of a bollard.
The flexible bollard appears unyielding, so drivers are more aware of their position and less likely to challenge them. When accidents do happen, the flexible bollard bends to absorb the collision, and damage is zero or minimal.
At the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, flexible signposts have been used to solve some unique challenges. Eight-foot posts are a configuration option and meet regulations for handicapped parking signs and stop signs.
“The new posts have helped us to meet Americans With Disabilities Act requirements in some difficult places where the installation of traditional posts would not work,” said Wayne Shannon, the university’s Assistant Director of Parking and Transit Services. “So far, only one unit installed has had to be replaced. The reason for failure was not the unit itself but due to vandalism.”
Kandra said many in the industry have mistakenly turned to concrete and steel bollards to support signage, when the cost of the materials and installation of these bollards is exponentially higher than the signs themselves.
“Concrete and steel bollards were originally designed to help keep vehicles away from certain structures like building entrances, ATM machines, gas pumps, utility boxes and so on,” Kandra said. “Today we see them popping up in parking lot spaces to support traditional steel signposts, because parking lot owners and property managers want their signage to be noticed and not damaged by vehicles running into them.
“Signposts are for signs, and bollards are for creating barriers to protect people and structures,” he said. “Confusing the two is a waste of money.”
The flexible signpost, he said, is an option that addresses the major issues that parking lot owners and operators face regarding signage – it costs less than the alternative and stands up to heavy abuse.
“Something that you know is going to be struck repeatedly should have a little – or a lot of – give; it’s just common sense,” Kandra said.
Contact Tom Suszka, North American Sales & Marketing Director for Flexpost Inc., at firstname.lastname@example.org.