Temporary bollards ended up preventing a vehicle from striking attendees of Fairfield’s Tomato & Vine Festival on August 22. The cause of the collision remains under investigation.
Fairfield Police Department reported that a senior-aged male driver had reportedly struck several cars on West Texas Street shortly before the second day of Fairfield’s Annual Tomato & Vine Festival was set to begin on August 22. The car was stopped when it collided with removable barriers intended to prohibit vehicle traffic from entering the festival.
Officers reported there was no indication that the driver intended to harm people at the festival. The man was taken to a local hospital as a precaution, but it is unclear if he was injured during the ordeal or if he remains in the hospital.
The bollards were set up by the Public Works Department as part of a citywide safety project, in which the barriers will be installed during special events held on streets to keep attendees safe.
In February of 2021, Council authorized the purchase and installation of crash rated removable bollards to temporarily close sections of Texas Street for special events. As a part of the Heart of Fairfield plan, this capital project is intended to improve the experience at special events and provide a new way to activate the Texas Street corridor. The decorative steel bollards (with plastic covers) are 6.63” in diameter, stand three-feet in height and are designed to be spaced 5-6 feet apart to form a secure perimeter.
They are designed to deter oncoming vehicles while still allowing pedestrians and bicyclists to pass. The bollards can be removed following the conclusion of the special event and cleanup crews can return the roadway to its pre-existing conditions. When not in use for a special event, the bollards are stored and secured along the side streets of Madison, Jackson, and Webster to allow for easy set-up and breakdown.
Public Works Director Paul Kaushal stated, “I am pleased to hear that the bollards prevented a more serious accident and that they did exactly what they were intended to do, prevent cars from accessing the area, potentially causing serious injuries.”