Bollards Could Substitute for Parking Bumpers

October 12, 2019
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Turning An Accident into Change

Bev Patterson Frier was planning on attending Mayor Steve Chirico’s “State of the City” speech earlier this year.

“However, getting out of the car and walking around to the front of the car, I tripped over a tire bumper,” Frier told Naperville City Council at the October 1 meeting.

Frier was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and received 27 stitches for her injury. Frier called for the city to look into parking bollards as a substitute for bumpers.

Bollard vs. Bumper

“The biggest difference is the bollard does not present the trip hazard potential that the parking bumper does,” said Bill Novack, the city’s director of transportation, engineering, and development. “Even though they’re painted, some people may not see them or they just don’t pick their feet up enough and we have seen some trip and falls as a result of the parking bumpers as opposed to the bollards.”

The city couldn’t force existing parking bumpers to be removed, but they could ban future developments from using them.

“The bumpers I think are just traditionally what’s been used for decades,” said Novack. “They’re readily available and basically you could just procure one, sledgehammer a couple pieces of rebar down the holes and you’re in place. Whereas a bollard you have to drill a hole or excavate a hole, put it in place, [and] pour some concrete.”

Support from Public Safety

At the October 1 council meeting, Fire Department Bureau Chief Jim Kubinski said Naperville paramedics receive more than 1,000 calls per year for short falls like Frier’s. Though, he couldn’t say how many are caused by parking bumpers.

Both the police and fire chiefs support looking into this issue.

Naperville city staff is currently researching bumpers versus bollards and will report their findings at a future council meeting.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.