Colorado Man Noticed Tired Straphangers Waiting at Bus Stops — So He Made Benches for Them

·2 min read
Colorado Man Noticed Tired Straphangers Waiting at Bus Stops — So He Made Benches for Them
Colorado Man Noticed Tired Straphangers Waiting at Bus Stops — So He Made Benches for Them

Courtesy James Warren James Warren on one of his handmade benches in Denver

After James Warren saw a woman sitting in the dirt while waiting for a bus at a seatless stop in Denver in January, he realized he could put his carpentry talents to good use.

The 28-year-old decided to build a bench from scrap construction wood he finds in dumpsters, and place a much-needed seat at the stop.

"My goal is to make people's lives just a little bit better, and make their transit riding just a little bit easier," says Warren, who has made and placed another seven benches at other stops around the city, with plans to keep going.

As an added touch, he writes the words 'Be Kind' across each seat, either with wood-burning tools or a stencil and spray paints.

Colorado Man Noticed Tired Straphangers Waiting at Bus Stops — So He Made Benches for Them
Colorado Man Noticed Tired Straphangers Waiting at Bus Stops — So He Made Benches for Them

Courtesy James Warren

"It really just makes me very happy," he says of his altruistic hobby. "It fills me up."

Warren, a consultant with the Colorado Workforce Development Council, grew up surrounded by tools with a dad in the construction field. So figuring out how to create the benches "is just in my blood at this point," he says. "I've always been a hands-on type of guy."

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About five years ago, Warren got rid of his car and instead takes buses when he isn't walking or biking to a destination. Over the years, he's noticed many a bus stop without seats, as well as without a covering.

"It is not hard for me to locate a stop that needs some love," Warren adds.

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It takes about three hours to build a bench. Once Warren places his creation at a stop, he does a bit of informal consumer marketing to find out just how much riders like them.

"Maybe I'm too nosy," he says. "And everyone who I've asked so far has just been so just thankful and appreciative, and so kind."

"But," he adds. "I'd be doing it even if nobody ever said anything like that."

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