By Jeff Gallatin
City officials expect to have installed in Cahoon Park by early 2016 new wooden post and rope bollards designed to keep vehicles from going over the cliffs.
Safety-Service Director Scott Thomas said the bollards will be replacing the concrete barriers which city officials put up earlier this year after a second incident in which a vehicle was driven off the cliff in a probable suicide attempt. He said the bollards and the mesh metal fence should be a strong deterrent from drivers making any similar attempts.
“They should help prevent a lot of potential problems,” he said.
Thomas said the concrete barriers were always meant to be temporary.
“We put them up just because we had the barriers already available and we wanted to do whatever we could to stop any more potential problems in that area,” Thomas said. “At the same time, we were and continue to be aware that the area is a park and that people go there to enjoy being outside and in that part of Cahoon Park, being able to see Lake Erie.”
Mayor Debbie Sutherland said city officials wanted to balance the need to keep the area safe while still keeping it aesthetically pleasing.
“Scott came up with an idea that maintains the park-like atmosphere of that area while still making it safer and hard for a vehicle and/or person to go over the cliff in that area,” she said. “The fence is there and keeps people from getting to close to the edge and where the land is eroding. And the wooden bollards and rope look much better than the concrete barriers and are deep enough in the ground that it will take a lot to go through them.”
Thomas said there will be about 50 sets of the bollards placed by the cliffs and along the park border with the neighboring Bay Boat Club. He said the city has some of the wooden posts already and that it would need to purchase about 44 more new sets and the rope to go with it. He said all that would costs about $3,000 for the city. Weather permitting, he said the installation work should be done by early 2016.
“It’s a pretty cost-effective solution which puts in equipment which fits with the overall park theme and still maintains a strong safety element,” he said.