A new innovation that will make old school bike parking racks look obsolete is the new trend in bike parking solutions for city streets: bike parking bollards. New era bike parking bollards are attractive pieces of street furniture that serve a triple purpose: they act as bollards to serve the protective function against motor vehicles that an ordinary bollard does, they are convenient racks for parking bikes, and they are also an aesthetically pleasing addition to the street scape. The new bike parking bollards are stainless steel bollards, and are available with many of the same features as standard bollards, including an option for the bicycle parking racks to be removable, although their increased weight and bulk may make this more difficult than a lighter weight standard bollard, such as an aluminium bollard, and obviously they are not able to be retractable or collapsible, as this would inhibit the bike parking rack function of the bike parking bollard. They are potentially also an unobtrusive and more attractive alternative to crash resistant bollards where these are required.
Bollard sculptures are a distinctive feature of the water front at Geelong, with a local artist having sculpted and painted with different designs, often to resemble people, including historical figures. Among the bollard designs in Geelong include swimmers, Geelong Cats players, and a pair of nuns in habits. The use of bollards at quays and docks first began in the seventeenth century, where they would be placed in order to allow ropes to be lashed to the dock and thus permit boats to be anchored. Disused cannons and wooden posts were used as the first parking bollards, and even after purpose built alternatives made of brass began to be manufactured, they were still fashioned in to the by then traditional cannon shape. By the beginning of the seventeen hundreds, bollards had also been adopted for use in traffic management, with the first known use of bollards for this purpose being in Hertfordshire in the year seventeen twenty one to prevent collisions with the mediaeval Waltham Cross.
A common alternative to the conventional bollard that can be seen in continental Europe is the bell bollard, which is much lower than a standard bollard and which works to deflect the tyres of a motor car rather than the body. This means that it works much more similarly to a set of concrete wheel stops, but is also effective against trucks and other heavy vehicles that may simply crush a standard bollard. Many bollards in use are not in fact collision resistant, and will collapse under the weight of a car. They serve a purely indicative function, to indicate that an area is not intended to be trafficable, rather than to physically block access by a determined motorists, such as a person intended to conduct a ram raid of a shop. For this reason, banks and ATMs will use stronger more expensive vehicle resistant bollards.