The New York City Department of Transportation is seeking recommendations for the CityBench program, an intiative to increase public seating on New York City streets.
Sheepshead Bay has numerous bus stops, retail corridors and areas with high concentrations of senior citizens that have inadequate public seating. The program is directed towards making pedestrians and transit riders more comfortable, as well as keeping senior citizens, children, and the disabled safer throughout New York’s busy high volume streets.
The benches come in two forms, one with a back and the other backless with seating availabitlity on either side. They’re three feet tall, 7.5 feet long, and two feet deep. The program aims to install 1,000 benches throughout the city on a rolling basis from 2012 to 2015.
The best part is that anyone can request a bench. The DOT is crowd-sourcing the placement, which they hope will include bus stops without benches or shelters, sidewalks near transit facilities, areas near senior citizen facilities and community health centers, hospitals, childcare facilities, schools and municipal buildings. The general restrictions concerning the bench placement is that the sidewalk must be at least 12 feet wide and the location cannot be opposite a building entance or cellar door.
The bench application is available on New York City’s DOT website, along with a list of the bench restrictions and requirements. Up to two benches can be requested for a single site by either an individual or organization, and the applier will be notified by phone and/or email about the status of their application. The local community board and property owners near the proposed benches will be notified of the program. The DOT will cover the costs of installing and maintaining the benches, with a $2.4 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration in order to further their goal to “help integrate transit into community through neighborhood improvements and enhancements to transit facilities or services”.
Where in Sheepshead Bay or Southern Brooklyn is in desperate need of a public bench? Any recommendation is appreciated. Let’s hear it!
— Taylor Reynolds