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City Tries New Leaning Benches At Downtown Bus Stop

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Bus riders in Sacramento are buzzing about a new addition to the stop on 14th and P streets. And the question everyone is asking: what are those two giant red metal contraptions?

At first, bus rider Sam Jee thought they were bike racks.

"This is the first time I've seen this here!" Jee said.

"I was quite surprised," said rider Joe Holland. "I was like 'there are no instructions!'"

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The new crimson duo recently popped up on 14th and P streets, just outside of the Capitol Area Development Authority's administrative offices.

According to CADA, the red aluminum wiry things are benches. CADA Development Director Todd Leon calls these "leaning benches" an attraction for riders waiting for the bus.

For Jee, it's a welcome break for his feet before he boards the bus home.

"Sometimes when you are waiting for the bus, it gets a little tiring standing around so you can basically kind of lean up against it," he said, demonstrating his lean.

A CADA developer came up with the idea when the company did some streetscaping around their downtown offices.

But why not put in your typical bench with an actual seat?

Holland guessed that it may be an attempt to deter the homeless.

"You can't really lie down on it," he said. "It doesn't cover you."

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But Leon said CADA wasn't really concerned about loitering. Instead, the company saw the benches as a low-maintenance alternative and cheaper to install than traditional benches. Up next, developers are working on a design plan for O street that may include more even more leaning benches.

Still, Holland said sitting on nearby stairs offers a little more relief after the work day than standing

"I've got a heavy backpack and I wanted to get some reading done," he said.

So it may take some time for riders to lean into this idea.

Devra Selenis, VP of Communications for Sacramento Regional Transit, told CBS13 they do not currently have plans to install the benches at other stops. However, she said the design could come in handy in the future in places too narrow to fit a bench.

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