Saturday, December 1, 2018

'Tis the Season for Bollards and Barricades in Berlin and Beyond

The seasonally secure Breitscheidplatz Christmas market Berlin 

It’s beginning to be a great big fortress
Sandbags everywhere
Take a look at the new steel fence, a tried and true defense
‘Gainst truck attacks within the public square

It’s beginning to be a great big fortress
Threats are evermore
But the scariest thing you see is the carnage that might be
On your own front door

It's Christmas time once more, and that means Berlin and 70-plus other cities and towns in Germany are setting up Christmas markets. Ever since the 2016 truck attack on crowds at the Berlin market, the seasonal decorations of those markets have included anti-ram vehicle barriers. Yes, steel baskets filled with sand bins are now as traditional as hot mulled wine.

Here's a German press report on how the hanging of the bollards is proceeding this year - Extra security measures in place for terror-hit Berlin Christmas market:
It's been almost two years since a lorry ploughed into a Christmas market in Berlin, claiming 12 lives, including the Polish driver of the truck, and injuring dozens of others.

Now, as the market at Breitscheidplatz, western Berlin, gets set to open on Monday November 26th, workers have been securing the area with huge steel baskets, reported local newspaper B.Z.

It’s just one of the new measures being put in place to make the area more safe.

Since Monday, workers have been building more than a hundred square lattice baskets on the sides of the square and screwing them together to form a row.

The baskets will form a protective ring made of steel, sand and concrete around the site that was hit by tragedy just days before Christmas 2016.

The steel baskets, called Terrablocks by experts, are part of a pilot project by the Berlin Senate, reported the Berliner Zeitung.

The Senate is investing €2.6 million in the new blocking elements, which will later become the property of the police.

In addition to the 160 wire baskets, which are connected together and when finished will stand along the side of the Christmas market, 13 heavy steel pedestals will be erected at another part of the square near Hardenbergstraße.

Meanwhile, 70 mobile bollards, so-called truck blocks, will be installed at the pedestrian entrances, leaving space for pedestrians - but none for vehicles.

The steel baskets are prefabricated and linked together 
Sand has the mass necessary to stop a truck

Those perimeter security arrangements look a lot better thought-out and more professionally executed than the rather haphazard ones we saw last year. Also, note that the German Federal government is funding the barriers this time, and that they will become the property of local police after the market closes, obviously for reuse in future years. The German authorities have evidently accepted the permanence of the security threat to public gathering places.


Anonymous said...

TSB:President Macaroni is discovering that the French have a tradition of revolution against out of touch politicians.
Fires and clouds of tear gas covered the French capital from early morning until late in the evening, in some of the worst violence ever seen in the French capital as more than 5,000 demonstrators brought chaos to Paris for the second week running.
As so-called Yellow Vest fuel price demonstrators marched along the opulent Avenue Foch near the Arc de Triomphe, home to embassies and luxury residences, they were joined by criminal groups included looters.(Macron announce from Argentina there will be an emergency meeting on Sunday to address the problem. I think Macron might be gone by Christmas. gwb)

Anonymous said...

TSB: Macron, what a pushover! French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is set to announce the suspension of fuel tax hikes which triggered massive unrest across the country, AFP reported citing government sources. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Dr. Jill Stein filed suit in Philadelphia and won...requiring a verifiable paper trail in all PA elections by 2020. Imagine that. Actually being able to tell who won in a close election. Of course the downside to that is people might actually start voting.