One of the items that came up at the last Council meeting was the question of bollards on the Thorold section of the Greater Niagara Circle Route. Councillors want to remove, or at least reduce the number of, bollards on the route.

This discussion arose from complaints Councillors said they’ve received from cyclists because, apparently, they run into the things. More likely, I think, they run into them because some of them don’t like to slow down.

This discussion has arisen before because someone didn’t notice a bollard and hurt themselves, leading to a lawsuit. I don’t know exactly what happened to the lawsuit because settlements aren’t made public.

Now, I’m not a great cyclist myself, but I occasionally go down the trail and have to negotiate the bollards, which I see every time. Somehow, I manage not to hurt myself in the process. I know, in addition, that these things were put there to suggest that caution is required because of railroad tracks, roadways and such.

Councillors had it only partially right when they said that the bollards, most of which can be removed by key to allow for emergency vehicle access, were put there to attempt to stop ATV’s from using the trail, something that hasn’t worked. They were also put there for above-mentioned reason of slowing down trail traffic due to hazards and to keep cars from accessing the trail, which is approximately one lane wide.

If people are running into them, I suggest painting them with fluorescent paint or attaching bright flashing lights. If they remove the bollards and some gets run over on a road or train tracks, the City will be in for a much larger lawsuit than they’ve experienced to date. As for having to frequently slow down, all I can say is, that’s what the brakes are for.

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