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Benches Removed On K Street For 'Revitalization' Leave Many Without A Place To Sit

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Maverick Franklin spends time every day along K Street downtown, but about a week ago he noticed many of the benches he used to sit on, around 10 of them he says, were gone, and he's not happy about it.

"People wait on the light rail, and they sit on the benches down there, and now ain't nowhere for them to sit," Franklin said.

The city says they removed the benches as part of an ongoing revitalization effort near The Golden 1 Center to repave crosswalks, streets, and remove hard to maintain equipment.

Paula Lomazzi, Director of the Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee, says she believes the city removed the benches to push the homeless out.

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"I'm really concerned about the idea of just trying to push people away and make people uncomfortable to be in a certain area, excluding them, " she said.

The city released a statement reading in part, "the City will be re-evaluating K Street to figure out what works best for everyone who uses the Street."

Franklin says what works best for him, is bringing the benches back.

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"I really wish they would bring them back. I thought they were putting new ones in but I guess they ain't" he said.

Franklin may get his wish as Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg weighed in, releasing a statement Friday afternoon.

"I support upgrading the infrastructure on K Street with bike racks and other improvements that better serve today's needs," said Mayor Steinberg. "But none of this should be done piecemeal. I'm asking that Public Works put the benches back until they are ready to do a full upgrade of K Street that includes places for people to sit."

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