Benched: Big Blue Bus Won't Have Benches Because People Sit on Them

Bianca Barragan
Curbed LA

2014.08_bbbbench.jpg
2014.08_bbbbench.jpg

The Big Blue Bus system updated its stops a few months ago with fancy designs by Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects and riders responded immediately with intense hatred, directing a lot of the negativity at the stops' tiny, backless, individual seats; Santa Monica promised it would make some changes and possibly even bring back the old benches, which they were saving in storage for some reason. Instead, the city decided to tweak the existing design by widening the stools and adding higher backs, but it seems like people were still asking for a return of the old benches because, the Santa Monica Daily Press reports, BBB has now explicitly stated on its site that the benches will not be coming back because their design invites people to actually use them for sitting—which BBB refers to as "loitering."

BBB says on their site that "In the seven to ten years since the benches were installed, BBB and the Santa Monica Police Department received many complaints about loitering on the benches.They were filed by riders and owners of businesses. As such, BBB was assigned criteria for evaluating design proposals … that included imperviousness to loitering by non-riders and vandalism, as difficult and uncomfortable as that may be to disclose." So in other words, it's an uncomfortable chair in a place that doesn't get a lot of shade, so that people are discouraged from sitting on it.
· BBB benches not coming back [SMDP]
· Big Blue Bus Fixing the Fancy New Stops That Riders Hated [Curbed LA]
· Big Blue Bus Riders Hate the System's Fancy New Bus Shelters [Curbed LA]