The term used to describe the issue is visual pollution and while that may be a loaded term, the fact remains that not everyone needs to have this signage in their field of vision.
Parking signs are a good example of a sign that is relevant for drivers but completely irrelevant for pedestrians. This has lead many designers in recent years to look at how to provide signage in a street without cluttering the visual aesthetics of the streetscape.
There is growing pressure to remove signage from streets altogether in Europe which started in Holland and has now spread to the town of Bohmte in Germany. Leda Security Products is a bollard manufacturer and has reportedly had a number of clients looking at this issue, According to Leda, the compromise for signage is to mount parking signage on a bollard.
The bollards are 900mm high so largely ignored by pedestrians yet can be seen by drivers assuming the bollard is next to the road or the space is vacant. So while it may not be suitable for every street, it is a solution for streets with visual importance. Pedestrian precincts such as central plaza’s or older parts of town are examples where the visual appeal of the area is the overriding objective as opposed to drive convenience.
Leda’s signed bollard is about to be installed in a major Sydney plaza and there is reported interest in other municipalities. “The signage bollard design clearly puts the streetscape first and vehicles second,” reports Mr Steve Holder, Leda’s Design Manager. “Bollards are predominantly used in pedestrian area’s so it is a natural design extension for us,” adds Mr Holder. Leda have also contributed to the security aspects of another design for a Sydney bollard which will be installed at some sites in Sydney over the next few months. The signage bollard is available in both stainless and painted finishes.