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Thursday November 27th 2014

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Sorry, Bollards not on order

what's that
The bollards aren’t on order as Mayor Ashton Hayward told the board of directors of the Greater Pensacola Chamber on Jan. 22.

A bollard is a short vertical post arranged in a line to obstruct the passage of motor vehicles.

The mayor’s Urban Redevelopment Advisory Committee had recommended in its November report that the city install bollards on South Palafox for events, such as Gallery Night, to allow people to walk on the street and eliminate the cost of hiring people officers to guard every intersection.

The day Hayward made his announcement to the chamber board (here) was also the day that the Pensacola Young Professionals were holding a forum at The Fish House to decide on three recommendations from the URAC report that the group wanted the mayor to do. One of the recommendations on which they were voting concerned the bollards:

Mobility – Holes for Bollards

Direct the Public Works department to install holes for bollards at the intersection of Garden and Palafox and along all East and West side streets (including turn lanes into Palafox from Garden and Main Street). This will eliminate the need to hire police officers to direct traffic during Gallery Nights and other special events and significantly reduce the cost of these events. What is more, this initiative comports with the Committee’s overarching recommendation that the Mayor focus on basic, cost-effective downtown policy goals, like competently providing mandated services at a reasonable cost, keeping the streets safe and clean, and not taxing and regulating away downtown businesses and residents. (recommendation on Page 73)

The mayor’s announcement at board meeting killed any chance of that recommendation being considered by PYP, because the bollards appeared to be a done deal.

This week, a Downtown Improvement Board member told me that he might go to the Tourist Development Council to ask for funds for the bollards, which stunned me because we had been led to believe that they had been handled by the city. I asked city spokesman Derek Cosson to clarify and provide a copy of the order form.

“The Mayor misspoke at the Chamber meeting,” said Cosson. “We have identified a vendor, obtained the necessary quotes, and are in the process of ordering the bollards, but the actual order has not yet been placed. We will be placing the order in the very near future, and the Mayor has committed to having the bollards in place this year.”

The quotes from Traffic Guard, Direct, Inc. are dated Jan. 14:

1)Helix Lock Bollard(4) –the prices are $63,021 and $76,370.

2)Top Lock Bollard –the prices are $59,733 and $73,356.

Cosson has agreed to notify the paper when the bollards are actually ordered.