You may have heard the term bollards before and not known what it meant. Conversely, you may have passed security bollards Columbia SC on many occasions and not known what they were called. Bollards are short, sturdy posts driven vertically into the ground. Over the centuries, they have served multiple uses.
Traditionally, bollards were used on docks and quays to give sailors a secure place to tie up their boats. They were typically made of a material that was very heavy and sturdy so that they would not pull up and allow the boats to drift away. Many bollards were made of metal, and in fact, old cannons were sometimes repurposed as bollards. The rear end projected above the ground for the purpose of attaching ropes, while the muzzle end was buried into the ground.
Traditional bollards are only used on waterfronts, while traffic bollards are used everywhere, even far from the ocean. Traffic bollards are used to protect storefronts and pedestrian walkways from ramming by vehicles. Sometimes a vehicle crashes into these areas accidentally, but other times it is a malicious attack. An intentional crash is sometimes called ram raiding, the purpose of which is to get into a building to steal valuable merchandise. Sometimes it is used to hurt unsuspecting and vulnerable pedestrians.
Traffic bollards are typically made from a combination of metal and cement. They are tested and rated to withstand an impact from an out-of-control vehicle, stopping it in its tracks before it can do any serious damage. The bollards are spaced far enough apart so that foot traffic can flow freely.
Many people, especially those who do not live near large bodies of water, are now probably more familiar with traffic bollards than with traditional bollards. There are also bollards that serve merely a decorative purpose. These tend to be more ornamental while the other varieties are typically utilitarian in appearance.