The new stainless steel moveable bollards that line our new King Street have a purpose. They help delineate the sidewalk from the parking lane. There are no more curbs (seen as an accessibility barrier). The bollards can be move to one of two positions to either expand the sidewalk for patios and more pedestrian flow… or they can be moved in to allow for the parking lane. There are no “marked” parking spaces along King Street which is new for Midland. While many have figured out how to parallel park in the parking lane, drivers must be aware of the new steel bollards which act as a barrier between vehicles and pedestrians (although their spacing does not prevent vehicles from easily passing between them).
The problem that I see, and that many others in our community have raised, is that the bollards are lower than typical vehicle widow height and are very hard to see. This results in people hitting them with their vehicles while parallel parking, or doors striking them causing damage to the bollards and the vehicles.
This system is in place in many other “downtowns” and I don’t know why Midland is suffering so much but clearly, for whatever reason, we need to do something.
I have joked about a foam rubber condom or sleeve to put over these to make them higher and softer – less likely to be damaged or cause damage. Some quick searching online reveals that there are actually sleeves for bollards for this very purpose.
I intend to ask staff about these and suggest that we consider some solution for our bollards. I have found many solutions online… https://www.garagepadding.com/custom-bollard-padding.html
I know that we are supposed to be controlling our spending to keep taxes down, but there must be some things we can do without or reduce our spending on so that we can afford the small things that can improve our quality of life… like padded bollard covers!
If you agree, talk to your councillors and ask them to support this request.