Bollards provide a separation between vehicle traffic and bicycle and pedestrian traffic, and can provide humor when observed with a less than serious eye. They can be made of wood, concrete, plastic or metal and come in permanent, phallic symbol and break away versions. Emergency vehicles know which are the break away ones and when needed they will drive through them. They can pose a hazard to bicyclists who lack situational awareness.

Here are photos of a few varieties around the greenbelt and campus:

In Town

In town there are many different types of bollards. Wooden ones often separate the end of a cul-de-sac from the greenbelt. Plastic or metal ones may be locked to the ground with a padlock. Wooden bollards separating The Greenbelt from Inca Place and Luz Place. Plastic bollards separating Vets parking lot from the greenbelt, with the middle bollard removed. Metal bollards also at the Vets. From the other side of these, you can see some temporary ones locked to the ground.

Approaching campus are the 3rd & University Poles which essentially serve to redirect car traffic, although cars are allowed on both sides. 3rd and University Avenue.

Some Streets With Bollards

On Campus

Campus has a profusion of bollards separating the many bike paths from rare vehicular traffic. Rather than always segregating cars and bikes, some of them seem to serve only to slow bikes when approaching a pedestrian-only corridor. Some of campus' wooden bollards have a color code indicating their level of permanence. The red tipped ones are built in, while the yellow tipped ones are both removable and breakable. Close to the base there is a thin cut all the way around them. I wouldn't try it on your bike though, not even your fixie. 3rd and A contains arguably the highest density of bollards in the known universe. Red means stop. Yellow means run it over or go with caution. Some bollards are just there to protect stuff from people who don't know how to drive.

In Winters

While the bollards in nearby Winters aren't strictly in Davis, they are notable for being a quick drive or ride away. Why would you want to go look at another town's bollards? Because when they went up in late 2008, they managed to make regional news for their phallic shape, with television news stories enthusiastically interviewing people who would say "it looks like a penis", and the media using phrases like, "the city manager's on the phone and he wants to know about the penises."

For pictures and a more detailed description, see Debra Lo Guercio's columns "Because I Say So" on December 18 and 25, 2008 and the story "Top Ten Stories of 2008" on December 25 in the Winters Express. Charles R. Wallace's column on December 25 also talked about the bollards. The Davis Enterprise also printed Debra's December 25 column from the Express on December 21, 2008.


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2009-12-06 13:27:30   Great page idea... we'll have to get lots of pics to show the great variety of bollards around campus and elsewhere, the same way we've got so many of the bike racks documented. And while we're on the subject of bollards, is it just me, or are some of the bollards more treacherous than others? Some of them seem too close together for comfort. —CovertProfessor

I think that all bollards on campus are spaced wide enough to let a GEM through. —WilliamLewis

But not all the bollards around town are, that I know. —CovertProfessor

2009-12-06 16:44:19   Bollards can also be spheres. There are giant red bollards in front of Target. —MaxLucas