Bollards line Water Street in Vancouver’s Gastown. The Town of Osoyoos is planning to install bollards at three intersections on Main Street. (Flickr/IQRemix)
What’s the big deal with bollards? They’re posts, meant to direct foot traffic or control vehicle traffic, but based on public reaction to the Town’s decision to construct some on Main Street, it seems like it’s a bit more complex.
After relocating stop lines and cross walks on Main Street last year to improve safety, the Town has found that pedestrians still cross where they used to.
So to guide foot traffic, the town is planning on installing bollards at three intersections.
But based on our reader’s reactions on Facebook, you’d think the Town is caging its residents and making them foot the cost.
One called it a “fiasco” and compared it to herding cats, while others are simply saying it’s a waste of money.
The project is estimated to cost around $43,000, but it will be taken from the Town’s share of the provincial Resort Municipality Initiative Funding. (Osoyoos is one of 14 resort towns in the province that divvy up the funds – $10.5 million in 2018, of which Osoyoos got $397,000.)
The funds go towards amenities and development related to tourism, including street beautification.
On top of having a practical implication – guiding pedestrians towards a safer spot to cross the street – bollards look good too: think Vancouver’s Gastown where black posts, connected with chains, keep foot traffic on the aesthetically compatible brick streets and separate from vehicle traffic. It’s pretty photogenic.
What’s so wrong with spending some funds on something that will make Osoyoos’ downtown look a little better, especially when the funds are meant to do just that?
We’re okay with a few decorative while simultaneously useful posts in front of our office, and we suspect by the time they’re actually being installed everybody else will be too.
Considering that Gastown’s famous steam clock cost $58,000 to build in 1975, according to the CBC, we’re guessing that’s out of the question, but maybe they’ll consider throwing in some of those cool iron lamp posts too.