No Sideview Mirror Is Safe Around These Narrowly Placed Bollards

No Cheam drivers’ side mirrors are safe until the town shortens these bollards.

byNico DeMattia|
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Abbott Road in Cheam, Sutton—a southern borough of London—is lined with the plasticky corpses of dismembered side mirrors. Bystanders can't help but witness the spectacle, as work trucks, delivery vans, and even small personal hatchbacks have their wing mirrors clipped by a set of unforgiving traffic bollards. Like the Terminator, they never tire, never relent: just endless, mirror-shattering carnage. At least that's how people of Cheam are reacting to a set of tightly spaced traffic bollards, according to MyLondon News.

I joke about Cheam citizens overreacting about said bollards, but they seem to be a problem. In an attempt to prevent speeding through the suburban town, the local municipality installed a concrete median, bisecting the road into two lanes, each of which is flanked by bollards designed to slow drivers down. However, the bollards were recently made taller, so even as drivers pass through at appropriate speeds, they can still lose their mirrors. And now that they're taller, even higher-riding vehicles struggle to pass through.

According to locals, part of the issue is that the road has camber, so cars will lean toward the bollards as they pass. On taller vans and crossovers that lean is exaggerated, causing side mirrors to dip right into harm's way.

"Consequently, the road is now littered with about 20 mirrors at least," a resident told MyLondon News.

A quick look at Twitter commenters inevitably reveals Londoners criticizing anyone recently relieved of their side mirrors, claiming those people either weren't paying attention or driving oversized vehicles. While the former might be true, especially with locals coming by to capture unintended mirror shedding for social media, the latter doesn't seem to be. Looking at the bollards in Google Maps Street View shows a small hatchback barely sneaking by unharmed. Any normal-size sedan or crossover will struggle to get through the bollards unscathed.

A Sutton Council spokesperson addressed the issue and said that the town would be make changes to the layout so locals stop losing their side mirrors.

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