The Department of Transportation has the following passage on its “CityBench” website: “DOT is installing attractive and durable benches around the city, particularly at bus stops, retail corridors, and in areas with high concentrations of senior citizens. These benches will make streets more comfortable for transit riders and pedestrians, especially for those who are older and disabled.” While this sounds like a nice amenity, the placement of some of these benches can leave you scratching your head. For example: a CityBench was installed in front of P.S.9, the Walter Reed School, on 57th Street between Grand and Flushing Avenues.
This block is almost entirely industrial and there aren’t many pedestrians walking through the area. Seniors and disabled persons most certainly are not passing through as trucks frequently block the sidewalks. And when you read the following, the placement of this bench really makes no sense: “The CityBench program is funded by a $2.4 million Bus Livability Grant from the Federal Transit Administration to further their goal to ‘help integrate transit into a community through neighborhood improvements and enhancements to transit facilities or services, or make improvements to areas adjacent to public transit facilities that may facilitate mobility demands of transit users or support other infrastructure investments that enhance the use of transit for the community.’” Did anyone at DOT actually inspect this location prior to rubberstamping it?