Bollards, barricades considered along Granville strip to stop vehicle attacks
A little over a year after a van attack in Toronto left 10 people dead and 16 people injured, Vancouver police are exploring options that could prevent something similar from happening along Granville Street.
A police board report says the City of Vancouver is looking at funding sources to potentially install permanent bollards or acquire moveable barricade structures for the popular nightlife strip.
“We are working closely with the City of Vancouver and are in the planning and development stages,” said Sgt. Jason Robillard. “We will carefully consider several urban design options to help deter vehicle attacks, including permanent and temporary solutions. One option we will explore is the use of bollards.”
A bollard is a post, often made of steel, that serves as a barrier. In some cases, they can be mechanically retracted into the ground, or may require someone to physically install and remove them each time they are required.
Several years ago, the VPD began using wooden barricades to close a stretch of the Granville strip to vehicles on Friday and Saturday nights in a bid to create more space for pedestrians and cut down on alcohol-fuelled fights.
In recent years, following truck attacks in Europe and the Toronto van attack, the police used vehicles to block the street.
Simon Fraser University criminology professor Brian Kinney says using more aesthetic barriers to provide security can reduce public anxiety about the possibility of an attack.
"I think that's a reasonably effective way. It helps because it's not permanent and it doesn't look militarized as a fairly protected armored vehicle rolling in front of a traffic zone,” said Kinney.
The VPD says the project is in the early planning stages and it will be consulting with other first responder organizations to ensure emergency vehicles can quickly access the area when required.