Say ‘bye’ to roadblocks along trails

Most of the round posts once used to keep larger vehicles off the People Trails segment along State Road 46 are gone.

The Columbus Park Board has approved removing all bollards along State Road 46 after a study by United Engineering found they could pose a threat to pedestrians and bicyclists.

“We actually have accidents with those, with it being so narrow,” said Mark Jones, director of the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department. “There’s no true need for them.”

Most of the bollards were removed Tuesday.

The only exception is a portion of the trail at Carlos Folger Road, just east of Goeller Boulevard, where three bollards will remain in place. The study found that those barriers should stay on the trail, Jones said, because they protect pedestrians and bicyclists from the often-heavy traffic on the highway.

“The way the intersection is now, that is more of a straight shot that a car could get directly onto the trail,” he said.

The park board last month approved the removal of two sets of bollards on either side of the railroad tracks at State Road 46 and Third Street.

Rather than sitting in a straight line as do the other barriers along the trail, the bollards at the railroad tracks were arranged in a triangular shape, which created a more immediate safety risk.

Removal of the remaining bollards could pose an additional safety threat by making it easier for larger vehicles, such as ATVs, to access the trail. But Jones said those vehicles could have found a way onto the trails even with the bollards in place, so he doesn’t think the additional threat is significant.

“There’s always an access to the trails, so there’s always concern about that,” he said.

What are bollards

Bollards are rounded barriers commonly used to restrict the follow of traffic. On the People Trails, two sets of three bollards generally arranged in a line are found at various access points. Their original purpose was to ensure only pedestrians and bicyclists could pass through the trails.

Author photo
Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at ocovington@therepublic.com or 812-379-5712.