Bollards to be set up along Magnificent Mile to enhance safety for shoppers, businesses

Craig Wall Image
Thursday, June 13, 2024
Bollards to be set up along Magnificent Mile to enhance safety
Bollards and protective barriers will soon be set up along the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue to enhance safety for shoppers and businesses.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Magnificent Mile is taking steps to enhance safety and security for pedestrians along a key stretch of the busy shopping corridor.

In the coming weeks, additional protective barriers will be installed. The bollards will also help protect against crash and grab burglaries.

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There are concerns about the safety of shoppers who flock to the stores on Michigan Avenue in downtown. So, changes are coming to this intersection and four others between Chicago Avenue and Ohio Street.

It's drilled into the ground... it's very secure. It can withstand a direct hit from a vehicle.
Brian Hopkins, 2nd Ward Ald.

The Magnificent Mile Association will be installing more than 40 protective bollards, similar to the ones already in place near the old Water Tower, but without chains.

"The sole cause of why we're introducing bollards in these planters is really to protect pedestrians, and by in introducing them we also get added protection to the business community and all the buildings that make up the avenue including our great retailers," Michigan Ave Special Services Commissioner John Gagliardo said.

Inside the decorative bollards are steel rods, which provide a secure barrier of protection.

"They're like an iceberg, you know you can only see the tip of it, it's drilled into the ground, and it's, it's very secure it can withstand a direct hit from a vehicle," 2nd Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins said.

The bollards, paid for by a special assessment on businesses on the Mag Mile, would be installed at the various intersections to establish a clear protective barrier. It is a pilot program that could be expanded to allow the bollards to be installed in other parts of the city to protect pedestrians as well as businesses.

After a rash of of smash-and-grab burglaries, including one earlier this week at a liquor store in Englewood, the bollards may become an important anti-theft tool.

READ MORE | Video shows burglars hit West Englewood liquor store, police say suspect in custody

"Once a business gets targeted, it typically happens more than once and we've seen that where you know, someone has fixed their storefront only to have it smashed again," Hopkins said.

Just last month, a South Side grocery store owner was victimized by a group of people who drove a vehicle through the front doors and then stole merchandise. The building owner has since installed concrete pillars out front to prevent a repeat. However, the bollards planned for Michigan Avenue provide even more security.

The improvement plan also include installing planters similar to this one in front of Neiman Marcus store. It was put there after an attempted crash and grab burglary back in December where would be thieves tried to drive a vehicle through the doors.

The safety upgrades will be installed in the coming months.