Aug
31

MTA finally says bollocks to LIRR bollards

By

The bollards at Atlantic Ave. which may have called tombstones are going to be replaced this winter. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

When the Long Island Rail Road finally opened its new Atlantic Ave. terminal in early 2010, its security features drew some criticism amidst the praise for the station. Surrounding the outside at the corner of Ashland Place and Hanson Place are a series of giant stone bollards that look more like tombstones. They make walking into and out of the terminal more challenging than they need to be, and for security measures, they are overwhelmingly intrusive.

The opening of the terminal drew a flurry of attention to the bollards. I didn’t go for them last year while Streetsblog noted how they exceeded the NYPD’s anti-terrorism guidelines. The Brooklyn Paper has been waging a protracted war against them, and this week, Gersh Kuntzman claimed a victory.

As the paper reported this week, the LIRR will be removing the concrete barriers over the winter and replacing them with something less oppressive. “The new, smaller bollards are less intrusive and more acceptable to the community,” MTA spokesman Sal Arena said to the paper.

Daniel Bush had more:

The MTA would not provide details of the plan, but a preliminary rendering reveals several dozen three-foot-high bollards stretching around the corner of Hanson Place and Atlantic Avenue at the terminal’s main entrance. Spaced approximately four feet apart, the proposed stainless steel cylinders — which resemble bollards seen in front of international consulates and other high-profile buildings — are far less obtrusive than the existing barriers.

Yet they appear to meet the criteria set forth in an NYPD security report which advised that bollards in front of high-risk buildings measure 30 to 36 inches high, and be spaced four feet apart. Those types of barriers are classified by the State Department as K-12, meaning that they can withstand the impact of a 15,000-pound truck traveling 50 miles per hour.

MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said that the new bollards were “reviewed by and endorsed by the NYPD.”

As City Council representative Letitia James said of the current barriers, “There’s nothing aesthetically pleasing about [them].” The new ones sound like a marked improvement indeed.



Categories : LIRR

10 Responses to “MTA finally says bollocks to LIRR bollards”

  1. Miles Bader says:

    Hmm, I dunno, from the pic it looks kinda cool, and a nice place to sit…

    Random steel cylinders will certainly be less space-consuming, but … kinda boring and otherwise not very functional, no?

    • Christopher says:

      Trust me. They aren’t cool. They are HUGE and totally block the entrance from the street. A really nice attractive front to station blocked by chest-high blobs. And there’s far more than just one.

      Sure there could be room to add seating on the plaza. But these are not the way to do it.

      • Bolwerk says:

        I haven’t been there in ages, but exactly what security is this supposed to be for? Atlantic Terminal doesn’t exactly seem like the Empire State Building, Grand Central, or any other major landmark.

        They look like they might be nice in a big park, way in the open. But they aren’t something that will liven up what is already something of a concrete wasteland.

      • petey says:

        “And there’s far more than just one.”

        right, how many are there? could, say, one be removed + the others re-spaced = less cost to change, equal security (as long as the gaps between aren’t too wide)? i kinda like them.

    • Alon Levy says:

      I was there a few times last year. The bollards reduced visibility, made crossing the street difficult, made pedestrian paths even on the same side of the street more circuitous, and were just plain hideous.

  2. asdfsadf says:

    Why didn’t they go with the standard cylindrical bollards in the first place??

  3. Edward says:

    Grand Central had the same problem for the first few years after 9/11. Ugly concrete “Jersey” barriers almost totally blocked the sidewalk at 42nd and Vanderbilt. New, cylindrical bollards installed a few years ago made entry/exit to GCT much easier (and better looking).

  4. Anon says:

    I think they are cool and I do like them.

    BK — Poll time? How come you don’t do polls?

    Poll the Bolls.

  5. R2 says:

    Only commenting because I love the headline. I find bollards hideous no matter what but I understand they are a necessary evil as part of overall security theater.

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