Do Planter Barriers Pose SAFETY HAZARD?

Nov 1, 2006 12:00 PM


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The concrete and metal security barriers that appeared on Manhattan sidewalks after Sept. 11, 2001, to deter potential car bomb attacks are beginning to disappear, and security experts say that if they are blown up, some of the barricades could do more harm than good.

In recent weeks, planters that double as security barriers have been removed from sidewalks in front of the Reuters Building at 3 Times Square and Morgan Stanley's headquarters at 1585 Broadway. Also, 63 concrete globes that encircled the Times Square Tower are gone.

On the advice of the police department, the city's Transportation Department ordered removal of many of the barriers that flank high-rises, office buildings and museums. Aside from obstructing pedestrian flow, a planter, if struck by an explosive, could become “weaponized,” shattering into deadly shards that would go flying.

“That's the main reason we quit making planter barriers several years ago,” says David Dickinson, senior vice president of bollard manufacturer Delta Scientific, Valencia, Calif.

“Attractive fixed or moveable bollards will stop a 15,000 pound vehicle traveling 50 mph dead in their tracks while adding to the aesthetics of an area,” Dickinson adds. “Decorative bollards protect pedestrians and property along Broadway and other sections of the City. Planter barriers are also bulky, have a less stopping capacity and require higher maintenance.”

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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