Bollard Bowling Infuriates Traffic Circle Neighbors By MATTHEW ARTZ

Friday August 05, 2005

North Berkeley residents say a truck driver has been taking aim at the Arlington Traffic Circle. 

Over the past two weeks, the concrete posts that wrap around the edge of the circle have been repeatedly attacked, said Sara Holmes, board member of Friends of the Fountain and Walk, and the traffic circle’s chief caretaker. 

Holmes said 13 of the 33 custom-cast posts, known as bollards, have been knocked down and destroyed since July 20. 

“It’s clearly an intentional act,” she said. 

Holmes said that careless motorists have occasionally struck the posts, but that the circle has never sustained such extensive damage in a short period of time. 

Berkeley Police Spokesperson Joe Okies said the department suspected that the culprit drove a dooley, a vehicle with four back wheels with a raised wheelbase. 

“It appears that a truck or trailer cut the turn too sharply and knocked over the bollards,” Okies said. 

The only evidence of the attacks have been tire marks along the circle, according to Holmes. 

“Someone is driving over these things,” she said. “It’s unfathomable.” 

Replacing the posts isn’t easy or cheap, Holmes said. It took the city about a year to replace 10 posts knocked down from an accident over a year ago, said Holmes. 

The custom-made posts cost about $300 apiece, she said. Since city coffers are low, Holmes said Friends of the Fountain and Walk and other residents are raising money to replace the damaged posts. 

Anyone interested in contributing can send donations to Friends of the Fountain and Walk, P.O. Box 8192, Berkeley, 94707. If someone has information about the attacks on the circle, they are encouraged to call the police non-emergency number at 981-5900.k