Hooray For Bollards

Emergency vehicle siren lowers security devices

To block off residential areas from nighttime traffic on Sunset Boulevard and mitigate traffic from the Sunset Millenium Shopping Center, the city of West Hollywood, Calif., is employing the same type of anti-terrorism bollards used by the government to stop car bombers at embassies around the world. They also are used at many corporate headquarters and high-value cargo depots. However, in West Hollywood, they’re out in the streets to keep busy nighttimearea traffic from entering residential streets.

Delta TT210 vertical lift bollards will destroy the front suspension system, steering linkage, engine crank case and portions of the drive train of any 7.5- ton non-armored or non-tracked vehicle hitting them at 62 mph. They will also stop a 15-ton vehicle traveling at 44 mph.

“The bollards were installed on Hammond Avenue almost 20 years ago,” said Sharon Perlstein, West Hollywood city engineer, Department of Transportation and Public Works. “They have survived all this time with little cost for restoration or repair. Over the years, the bollards have been hit by several cars going 30 to 40 miles per hour with no effect on their ability to operate.”

According to Perlstein, the city needed a street closure barricade to block off a residential area from nighttime traffic resulting from Sunset Boulevard nightclubs and restaurants. Originally, Perlstein and the others involved in the project heard of this solution through their parking manager who was researching Delta Scientific for parking booths. They visited the Delta facilities and were given a demonstration of how the bollards work.

During the day, bollard systems are recessed and remain in the down position to let cars through. During the evening, they raise to keep cars off residential streets. Parking enforcement raises and lowers the bollards with a key operation.

A second system was installed to mitigate traffic from the Sunset Millenium area, which includes a shopping center, hotel and retail section, and retail and office area. In order to build the project, the developers were required to keep shoppers away from West Hollywood’s residential areas and needed to block off a street. To do so, the developer, in concert with the city, decided to install bollards on West Hollywood’s Alta Loma Road, turning the street into a cul-de-sac.

However, Perlstein said the West Hollywood Emergency Services Department was concerned because Alta Loma has historically been used by the city’s and surrounding cities’ emergency vehicles. Emergency service officials requested that the bollards be able to be lowered for emergency traffic. In response, Delta created a system in which the sound of the sirens from the emergency vehicles lowers the bollards. Parking enforcement then re-raises the devices through a key operation.

LAPD Deploys Mobile Barriers

Just a couple bus stops away from West Hollywood, the Los Angeles Police Department deploys totally self-contained MP5000 high-security mobile barricade systems to protect its historic downtown Parker Center headquarters during times of heightened homeland security threat levels. The MP5000s can be towed into position to control vehicle access within 15 minutes and can be used for special events unique to Los Angeles, such as Hollywood awards ceremonies.

When the homeland security threat alert rises, LAPD’s secure perimeter expands several blocks. The MP5000s can easily be mobilized in response to a threat-level change, creating a safe zone at the outer areas surrounding the Parker Center headquarters.

Built at the request of government force protection specialists for initial fast deployment use in Iraq and elsewhere, the system does not require excavation or sub-surface preparation. Once positioned, the mobile barricade unpacks itself by using hydraulics to raise and lower itself off its wheels. A DC-powered pump then raises or lowers the barrier. The mobile deployable vehicle crash barrier carries a K4/L1 rating and stops a 7.5-ton vehicle traveling 30 mph.

LAPD also taps the MP5000s to provide extra security at glamorous affairs such as the Academy Awards, major sporting events, high-profile trials or in the potential event of riots or natural disasters such as earthquakes.

This article originally appeared in the March 2012 issue of Security Today.

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