Establishing Attractive Security and Pedestrian Areas in Lower Manhattan

Recommendations for fixed security bollards and retractable bollards with transponder pass key systems

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1. Use sturdy fixed security bollards to replace concrete barriers. Protect critical infrastructure and allow pedestrians to move freely.

The proliferation of concrete barriers to guard against truck bombs makes downtown seems like a war zone. Sturdy, federally crash-rated, fixed security bollards protect critical infrastructure yet are more space efficient and attractive. These cost effective and durable bollards should also be used to widen Lower Manhattan’s congested sidewalks and protect pedestrians at dangerous intersections.

Problem: Concrete barriers, St. Thomas St., protect buildings, but block sidewalks and create a hostile atmosphere. Solution: Impenetrable, space efficient bollards installed in front of the federal courthouse on Centre St. after the first
WTC bombing.

2. Create new secure areas, and pedestrian zones with retractable bollards.
Retractable bollards controlled by EZ-Pass style transponders raise and lower to allow authorized service and emergency vehicles quick access to restricted areas. Business owners can also use pass cards to let less frequent delivery vehicles through. Retractable bollards are used in City Hall Park and in hundreds of French, English, and German cities and towns.

Problem: Pickup trucks, jersey barriers and fences protect the Stock Exchange. Retractable bollards would be more secure, attractive, cost effective, and space efficient. Solution: Two retractable bollards in front of a gate to City Hall raise and lower instantly as needed. 


Fixed security bollards

1. Sidewalk space is at a premium downtown, so perimeter security (vehicle barriers) must be unobtrusive and passable by pedestrians. Fixed, federally crash-rated bollards have much smaller footprints than planters or concrete barriers.

2. Fixed bollards are used In several locations in NYC to widen sidewalks and guide vehicles to the safest path. NYC should also use them to widen sidewalks downtown where crowding is worst.

Fixed bollards off of 5th Ave. in Manhattan widen the side-walk
to relieve crowding and shorten the crossing distance.

Retractable bollards and transponder pass key system

A number of European cities including Cambridge, UK’s town center and London’s Square Mile use retractable bollards to control vehicle access and create pedestrian streets. The system is made up of a series of bollards connected to a central hydraulic power unit. The bollards are controlled by a transponder system that reads a transponder tag inside authorized vehicles (the technology behind EZ Pass). When activated by a transponder, the bollards retract into the ground in seconds, and rise as quickly when the vehicles is through. The system has a failsafe mechanism that allows the barriers to be manually lowered in the event of a power failure, as well as a measure to prevent bollards from rising under authorized vehicles.

Bollards are placed at intervals of about 5’ to ensure that people in wheel chairs can pass through, but
cars cannot.

Retractable bollards in Cambridge, UK
keep cars out, but let pedestrians, cyclists, emergency vehicles and deliveries in.

Bollard Facts:

  • Estimated total cost to secure 25 entrance points to existing pedestrian zones in Lower Manhattan: $750,000

  • Estimated cost per unit

    • Pump, bollards, casing and connection: $28,000. (Delta Industries).

    • Transponder Reader: $2,000 (Mark IV Industries)

    • 100 Transponders: $3,000

  • Estimated cost for fixed security bollards (does not include labor):

    • Cost per bollard $1,500

    • Cost to secure the face of an average north-south
      block - 50 bollards, 5’ apart: $80,000

Dimensions and Specifications:

  • Levels of protection: US Department of State

    • K12, L2 : stop a 15,000 lb. truck traveling 50 miles an hour.

    • K4, L2: stop a 15,000 lb. truck traveling 30 miles an hour.

  • Height: 30-34.5”

  • Diameter: 6.63-12.75

  • Foundation depth: 54-64.5”

  • Footprint: 48”x48”

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