121.1 Introduction #

The purpose of this section is to present a distinct definition of a bollard that deviates from conventional or market definitions. It has been observed that existing definitions of bollards are often incomplete, misleading, incorrect, ambiguous, or vague. This guideline aims to rectify these issues by providing a comprehensive definition that adheres to established definition rules and combines various definitions into a unified framework.

121.2 The Definition #

In the context of this guideline, a bollard is defined as follows:

A bollard is an upright structure that is securely installed into the ground made of concrete, metal, wood, or plastic. It serves various purposes such as public safety, building security, asset protection, traffic control, vehicle access control, outdoor lighting and vessel mooring.

Bollards Illustration

121.3 Definition Analysis #

The definition provided describes a bollard as a type of street furniture or vehicular obstruction made of materials like concrete, metal, or durable wood. Bollards can be installed individually or in groups with uniform spacing. The main functions of a bollard are listed as public safety, building security, outdoor asset protection, traffic control, vehicle access control, and outdoor lighting. Bollards can be categorized based on their operation mode (fixed, manual, or automatic).

Here’s a breakdown of the key elements mentioned in the definition:


Bollards are upright structures securely installed into the ground, made of concrete, metal, wood, or plastic. Their structural design and installation provide stability and durability.


Bollards are securely installed into the ground using methods such as embedding them in concrete foundations or using anchor systems. Proper installation ensures their stability and ability to withstand external forces.


Bollards are constructed from various materials, including concrete, metal, wood, or plastic. The choice of material depends on factors such as durability, aesthetics, and functional requirements.


Bollards serve various purposes, including:

Public Safety: Bollards help enhance public safety by preventing vehicles from entering pedestrian areas or sensitive zones. They act as physical barriers to protect people from potential vehicle collisions.

Building Security: Bollards serve as barriers that enhance the security of buildings by protecting them against potential vehicle attacks. They are commonly employed around buildings and infrastructure to mitigate security risks.

Outdoor Asset Protection: Bollards can safeguard outdoor assets such as sculptures, monuments, or valuable equipment from damage caused by vehicles or vandalism.

Traffic Control: Bollards aid in managing traffic flow by guiding vehicles, defining lanes, or restricting access to certain areas. They can help control the movement of vehicles and maintain order on the roads.

Vehicle Access Control: Bollards are employed to control and restrict vehicle access to specific areas, such as restricted zones, pedestrian-only zones, or private property entrances.

Outdoor Lighting: Bollards often incorporate lighting elements to provide illumination in outdoor spaces. They can serve as functional lighting fixtures while also adding aesthetic appeal.

Outdoor Lighting: Bollards are used in vessel mooring to secure ships or boats, preventing drifting caused by wind, currents, or tides.

121.4 Comparison with Other Definitions #

The definitions presented in the following table lack the essential elements required for a comprehensive bollard definition, including its intended purpose, material composition, installation options, and operational characteristics. Consequently, readers of these definitions will not acquire a complete understanding of what a bollard truly encompasses.

Merriam-WebsterA post or stake used to secure or guide something.
Oxford English DictionaryA short, thick post on the deck of a ship or on a wharf, to which a ship’s rope may be secured.
Cambridge DictionaryA short post that is set in the ground or on the edge of a road to prevent vehicles from going onto an area used by pedestrians.
Collins DictionaryA short post that is set up to stop traffic from going along a particular road, or to protect a building or area from vehicles.
American Heritage DictionaryA thick post of wood or iron used to secure a ship.
Encyclopedia BritannicaA short post, typically made of metal or concrete, used to control road traffic or to protect pedestrians and buildings from vehicles.
InvestopediaA sturdy, vertical post designed to control or direct traffic or to provide security and protection for buildings, vehicles, or pedestrians.
Dictionary.comA short, thick post, especially one of steel or iron protecting an area from vehicles.
Architecture DictionaryA short, vertical post used to control or direct traffic or to protect a building, monument, or area from vehicles.
Transportation Research BoardA vertical, cylindrical post or object used to mark a location or to protect an area from vehicular intrusion.
US Department of TransportationA short, vertical post made of durable materials such as concrete, metal, or plastic, designed to prevent or deter vehicle intrusion or protect infrastructure.
World Road AssociationA device used to separate, guide, or restrict road users, typically consisting of a vertical post or object.
Construction DictionaryA short, sturdy post installed in or beside a road or sidewalk to control traffic or protect pedestrians and property from vehicles.
Federal Highway AdministrationA short post or object installed to provide visual guidance, protect pedestrians or structures, or regulate traffic movement.
Road Traffic TechnologyA sturdy post or object designed to control traffic flow, delineate areas, or provide security and protection.
American Association of State Highway and Transportation OfficialsA short, vertical device used to guide or control traffic or to protect people, vehicles, or infrastructure.
Australian National DictionaryA post, often made of concrete or steel, placed in or near a road to control traffic or prevent vehicles from entering certain areas.
European CommissionA short, fixed post made of various materials, used for traffic control, urban design, or architectural purposes.
New Zealand Transport AgencyA short, sturdy object installed to guide or control traffic, enhance safety, or protect pedestrians, cyclists, or property.
Highways EnglandA vertical, usually cylindrical post made of materials like concrete or metal, used to control traffic and safeguard areas from vehicles.
City of London CorporationA short post, often made of cast iron or steel, used to demarcate areas, protect pedestrians, and regulate traffic flow.
National Association of City Transportation OfficialsA short, sturdy vertical object placed to manage traffic, enhance safety, or provide security.
International Organization for StandardizationA post-like structure installed to mark or protect an area, control traffic, or provide guidance.
Architectural DigestA small, often decorative post used to regulate vehicular access, create visual barriers, or enhance landscape design.
Civil Engineering DictionaryA vertical element, typically made of concrete or metal, positioned to control traffic, prevent vehicle intrusion, or mark boundaries.
Table: A list of Bollard Definition from multi sources

By contrasting these existing definitions with the comprehensive definition provided in this guideline, it becomes evident that a unified and precise definition is necessary to eliminate confusion and ensure consistent understanding within the professional community.

121.5 Misidentified as a Bollard #

The following examples are often misidentified as bollards, but they do not meet the criteria for being categorized as such. The reasons for their exclusion from the bollard definition are as follows:

Item NameReason for Not Being Considered as a Bollard
Traffic ConeNot fixed in place.
StanchionDoes not fulfill any of the defined purposes of a bollard.
PedestalDoes not fulfill any of the defined purposes of a bollard.
MonumentDoes not fulfill any of the defined purposes of a bollard.
Bike RackDoes not fulfill any of the defined purposes of a bollard.
Table: Examples of Misidentified as a Bollard

By excluding these items from the definition of a bollard, clarity is maintained, and the scope of what constitutes a bollard is clearly defined.

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