Hey Tim Cook, maybe it's time for Apple to install some bollards

Every day, on average, 100 cars crash through U.S. store windows, Apple's more than most.

From Boston 25 News' "Why don’t more storefronts have protective barriers?" posted Monday:

In the wake of a deadly crash at an Apple Store in Hingham, MA, some have asked why there weren’t protective barriers separating the store from the parking lot.

State Lawmakers have been talking about the subject for a few years now.

The Storefront Safety Council told Boston 25 that crashes like this happen around 100 times a day around the country and that there have been more than 800 in Massachusetts alone in the past decade.

The co-founder of the Storefront Safety Council told Boston 25 it’s a simple fix.

They’re just called pipe bollards for a reason. Sometimes they have decorative covers on them and sometimes they’re made from concrete. But by and large, it’s steel pipes. And so, you know, 260 million people a week walk into a Wal-Mart and every single one of them walks between bollards because Walmart says, "I don’t want any cars driving into my store,” said Rob Reiter. “The number of accidents divided by the number of doors for them is way smaller than it is for unprotected places.”

Reiter says many stores don’t want to deal with the cost or they don’t like the way they look.

He also said Apple stores in particular have seen crashes in the past -- sometimes because thieves are looking to steal the pricey equipment inside.

My take: If Walmart can do it, why not Apple?

See also: Hingham Apple Store window is target for SUV (aftermath video)

34 Comments

  1. Fred Stein said:
    Yes. If Apple store on Univesity Av., Palo Alto can do it why not elsewhere? In the ‘street view’, someone was happily sitting and texting on one of them.

    I’ve always been concerned that Apple would be target of terrorism or mass murder by a homicidal megalomaniac.

    2
    November 22, 2022
  2. Jerry Doyle said:
    …. My take: If Walmart can do it, why not Apple?”

    The answer; Apple can do it but Apple chose not to do it.

    I wrote a comment yesterday denoting how these type protective barriers are used in shopping centers and that Apple should have had them in place. I had them in front of my small businesses which were custom framing art galleries vulnerable to vans and trucks backing up smashing the plate glass windows with teams of professionals running through the gallery pulling framed art off the wall and quickly loading the goods inside the van and driving away, all within five minutes. Another time we had an incident where an elderly lady became confused and instead of placing her car in reverse, she hit the gas pedal and drove right inside the gallery through the plate glass windows. To stop the smash & grab I installed the posts out front and had 3M installed on all the plate glass windows this gummy like adhesive that one finds in auto plate glass windows. There is no shattering of glass. You take a sledge hammer and hit the plate glass window and the sledge hammer is stuck, leaving the culprit to pull hard to extract the sledge hammer (or whatever instrument used) and all that one has is a hole in the glass that needs much more work to make wider. What all this does is slow the perpetrators down to where they have to work much harder and longer to gain entry, all while the security alarms are blaring and the police are on their way.

    Apple doesn’t want to proceed down this path because the response to protect the stores distracts from the aesthetics that Apple spends so much money to achieve and to present. It is the same premium Jony Ive’s and company placed on thinness in design at the expense of functional practicalities.

    Apple needs to put people’s lives ahead of aesthetics. Those patrons in the Apple Store who were injured will prevail in their civil suits against Apple. It is time for Apple to do what is right to keep this from ever happening again.

    5
    November 22, 2022
    • Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
      Jerry, your comment yesterday generated a discussion between my wife & I on the subject including different examples of barriers we’d seen before, it’s worth compared to any fatalities, and ideas on how to make them “pretty” or “invisible” or “multi-functional“ in front of Apple Stores.

      2
      November 22, 2022
  3. Jerry Doyle said:
    “…. My take: If Walmart can do it, why not Apple?”

    Also, Wal-mart could care less about aesthetics.

    3
    November 22, 2022
    • Neal Guttenberg said:
      Jerry,

      With Apple it could be aesthetics, keeping the stores look as being open and inviting. If need be, I am sure someone could come up with a design that would be acceptable to Apple.

      My question is, especially at this mall location, who would have been responsible for the decision of putting up these bollards? Would it have been up to Apple, the mall or both? No matter what the answer to this question, with this incident, I am sure Apple will be looking for all their stores that are at risk.

      1
      November 22, 2022
      • Jerry Doyle said:
        @Neal Guttenberg: “…. My question is, especially at this mall location, who would have been responsible for the decision of putting up these bollards?”

        Tim Cook always says, do what always is right. In this instance it is to protect “our” customers and store employees.

        Most shopping malls and strip shopping centers will assume the responsibility for doing so and pass the cost forward to the tenants through added common area maintenance costs at the end of the year. If the shopping mall doesn’t move proactively to do it, then Apple should alert the landlord that Apple plans to install the protective measures. This isn’t a matter of who should do it as much as “do it.”

        The reason landlords may not move on the issue is because of tenant complaints at end of year over high common area maintenance costs. Everything a shopping center does to enhance the appearance and safety of a shopping center is passed on to tenants at end of year based on the tenants’ percentage of prorated leased square foot space in the shopping center. If the shopping center’s pavement is resurfaced, the tenants pay. Christmas decoration costs all are paid by tenants. The landlord passes all sanitation costs on to tenants. The landlord passes all taxes on to tenants. The landlord passes all electric bills, improvements on to tenants. In other words, all shopping center improvements usually are passed forward to tenants holding leased space.

        The costs are prorated on the basis of the tenants’ leased spaced as a percentage of the total leased space in the shopping center.

        Some shopping center landlords may be hesitant to add extra costs to tenants’ common area maintenance bills as some tenants struggle to stay afloat running their businesses. Those leasing contracts are so filled with stipulations that if a tenant wanted to move proactively to install the bollards that they would need the permission of the landlord first to do so. I find it difficult to believe most landlords would say no. Apple easily could do it. Apple has chosen not to do it, and this is costing lives. Tim needs to do what he always opines, “… we (Apple) do what is the right thing to do.”

        1
        November 22, 2022
        • Neal Guttenberg said:
          Jerry,

          Thanks for your in depth answer.

          I agree that now, Tim Cook knows what should be done. Let us see if he walks the walk on this issue.

          0
          November 22, 2022
  4. Horace Dediu said:
    I believe it’s drivers who crash cars through store windows. I don’t think cars are to blame as they are inanimate objects. We are not there yet with self-driving.

    7
    November 22, 2022
    • Steven Philips said:
      They’re only inanimate when they’re parked! 🙂

      1
      November 22, 2022
    • Brian Loftus said:
      You would think so Horace but here in the US – at least with CNN, as with everything else it depends on the politics. The 11/22/22 headline – At least 5 killed after SUV plows into Wisconsin holiday parade.
      From cnn website – us/live-news/wisconsin-waukesha-christmas-parade-car-plow-11-22-21/index.html

      2
      November 22, 2022
    • John Butt said:
      Getting personal with Tesla? LOL

      0
      November 23, 2022
  5. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    There are ways that Apple or any architectural designers can make bollards, barriers, and other things both beautiful or “invisible” with the first priority of being robustly protective/preventative. I think designers would be happily challenged and proud to do it.
    Example : Apple Watch. Saves lives.

    1
    November 22, 2022
  6. Five minutes ago I purchased a pair of AirPods Pro 2nd Generation at the Apple Store in Christiana Mall, Delaware. The entire experience from me entering the crowded (tax-free) store, getting directed to product, paying & leaving premises with the product, took 4 minutes. That’s execution with precision, another important way Apple outperforms any retailer.
    I’ll get the gift card with another Apple purchase this holiday season but my new hearing aids (screw FDA approval) could not wait.

    1
    November 22, 2022
    • David Emery said:
      It’s “efficient”, but I certainly do not find it particularly appealing. When I’ve gone to an Apple store to pick up something, I also wanted to browse to see what was on the shelf. But the “efficiency” absolutely DIScouraged me from staying around to browse for accessories or other Apple products.

      Add to that the tendency of Apple store people to treat me with a bit of condescendence, and I have no desire to return to an Apple Store. I may have to do so for warranty service, but unlike 20 years ago (at Store #2 in Tyson’s), I would not be looking forward to it.

      1
      November 22, 2022
  7. Gregg Thurman said:
    “hey look, something sensational just happened at an Apple Store. Get the click team together. Let’s come up with a subject that can make Apple look irresponsible, never mind that what we end of blaming Apple for 99.9% of all other Store do the same thing.

    Of the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of Store fronts in just the US, how many incidents like this do we experience each year? More people die each year stepping off a curb and getting hit by a bus.

    If cars crashing through store fronts were that a problem governments would require them and architects would design them in.

    3
    November 22, 2022
    • S Lawton said:
      “never mind that what we end of blaming Apple for 99.9% of all other Store do the same thing.” Then again, Apple isn’t any other store or company.

      2
      November 22, 2022
  8. Daniel Epstein said:
    Here in NYC we have had to learn this lesson the hard way. So if Apple has anything to do with protecting their stores they should incorporate this into their plans. Cost shouldn’t come into it. Local governments should also be concerned about this. Safety codes cover a lot of issues. An ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure.

    1
    November 22, 2022
  9. Lalit Jagtap said:
    Why not re-design places of shopping to have almost zero direct access to the front entrances? That way shoppers are constrained to walk more, and have human interactions. More eco friendly piazzas (places to sit, interact etc) be designed and developed, instead of the huge concrete parking lots. It will prevent these gas guzzling autos next to store, as it will have to parked away in distant/remote parking lots.

    Once in 100 years recent pandemic has changed our way of doing office work. Based on that I am optimistic that our “local zoning teams” will be challenged to innovate and adapt to prevent these kind of auto violence attacking humans who are in the store or restaurants or other places of gatherings etc.

    The job done by our outdated gas guzzling autos to provide cold or warm weather experience to individual, all the way to the entrance of store need to be re-looked at. Now basic safety of everyone walking, shopping or eating in public places is under threat.

    2
    November 22, 2022
  10. Michael Goldfeder said:
    Traffic collisions occur everyday because people are careless and don’t know how to drive. As Gregg said yesterday: “HUA.” Perhaps the DMV in every state should automatically revoke the driver’s license of everyone who has an accident. Or should every business be required to build an impenetrable fortress around their business?

    People are stupid when they get behind the wheel of a vehicle. It’s a problem. Should we increase every police force after someone has their car broken into because they left packages, computers, and high end electronics inside the passenger compartment in plain view? Or is that an example of personal responsibility?

    2
    November 22, 2022
  11. Roger Schutte said:
    If you’ve got 10 minutes do a search for bollards on youtube. These things have one job to do and they do it well!

    1
    November 22, 2022
  12. Ken Cheng said:
    Obviously, the lack of bollards is an aesthetic choice.

    In this Hingham accident, because it’s in a mall parking lot, the typical speed would be 15mph or less. The Apple Store, is just after a car would have to make a left turn, so even slower than the typical travel speed in a mall parking lot.

    Since there’s no straight shot to the Store, accidentally hitting the Store at high speed is very unlikely.

    Sadly, there are two trees in front of the store, which may have stopped a vehicle. Unfortunately, there’s a gap where a 3rd tree could have gone, and that’s where the perp drove his vehicle thru.

    4
    November 22, 2022
  13. Ken Cheng said:
    From a CBSnews report: “Rein told investigators he was looking for an eyeglass store when his right foot became stuck on the accelerator of his Toyota 4Runner. He said he used his left foot to try to brake, but was unable to stop”

    Raises a lot of questions.

    3
    November 22, 2022
    • Gregg Thurman said:
      A fine example of “HUA”.

      The gas pedal is designed to prevent shoes/feet from getting stuck as described. There just isn’t enough room between the pedal and the driveline hump. When I drove my first front wheel drive vehicle I missed having the hump because I would rest my foot against it.

      Secondly, gas pedals snap into place, if per chance the impossible did occur, pulling your foot up would cause the pedal to pop loose. The lever supporting the gas pedal is spring loaded and would automatically revert to its neutral position.

      Yep, definitely “HUA”.

      2
      November 23, 2022
  14. Brian Loftus said:
    A longer quote from his lawyer makes a little more sense.
    “As he explained, his foot got stuck on the accelerator – as he explained to me — between the accelerator pedals and the side,” the lawyer added. “He tried to move his foot and get it unstuck. He also tried to brake with his other foot while he was doing that, but he was unable to.”

    1
    November 22, 2022
    • Bart Yee said:
      A common defense for crashes and who can refute it? Even the car’s computer will verify the accelerator press, it might also show the attempted brake push.

      Of course, if it’s a Toyota (or Audi), it could be an “unintended” acceleration or the unsecured floor mat could also be implicated. So there are many ways to (legally) challenge the “intent”, intentionality, or evade full personal responsibility.

      1
      November 22, 2022
      • Bart Yee said:
        BUT, IMO, how can Apple or its store design be blamed for what happened and the injuries? There are NO requirements AFAIK in commercial, real estate, or mixed use zoning laws that say you must somehow mitigate a careening vehicle from the local parking lot, gunfire, smash and grab robberies, or other rare incidents.

        AFAIK, Like banks, Apple Stores are not to engage robbers but allow them to go. As for protecting the stores from vehicles, should we advocate for K-rails, water filled orange barriers, or Armco? I was at the local Walmart which has 6 tall concrete and steel bollards, each about 5 foot tall (to my shoulders) encased currently in yellow plastic, spaced about 4 feet apart so that carts can go through. Sam’s had similar except in gray plastic. Each store has one to two double wide sliding glass doors, otherwise heavy and thick concrete block walls, much the opposite of Apple’s modern glass exteriors. I know there are more aesthetically acceptable bollard designs which are shorter (but effective), made of steel or rebar reinforced stone, some with lighting, etc. which could be implemented at “vulnerable” Apple Stores worldwide, if needed.

        But really, if this had happened at any other retail store, as it appears to regularly around the country, would we be calling for Apple (and others) to reinforce its security and vehicular defenses in response?

        2
        November 22, 2022
        • S Lawton said:
          My old company was the only company located in a wooded area but it still placed barriers in front of sections that could have been targeted by some kind of vehicle. Are you saying Apple is less concerned about its customers and employees or that it can’t afford the design and layout for protection?

          0
          November 22, 2022
  15. Bart Yee said:
    OT: When I casually glanced at the headline, I misread it as:
    “Hey Tim Cook, maybe it’s time for Apple to install some bollocks”

    I immediately thought “why would Apple want to do that?”

    Talk about mixing fruits and nuts 🥜🥜 !

    5
    November 22, 2022

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