NYC new standard bench

This is a new bench for New York City. Designed by Ignacio Ciocchini, it is of powder-coated steel. It is designed to dissipate heat and shed snow.

I was surprised by the very small side arm rests. By dividing it up into individual  seats, it prevents both sleepers and cuddlers (unless two people can fit onto one 26″ seat). In contrast, recent benches selected in Ottawa are divided into a 2:1 ratio with a single off-centre armrest, so that people can choose to sit touching if they wish.

While Ottawa is struggling to find a suitable set of designs for its standardized street furniture, mainstreet rejuvenations continue to select unique benches. Bronson Avenue and Rideau Street are in progress now; sometime in the next 8 months new benches will be installed in parts of Chinatown (red, of course, with an appropriate Chinese theme).

If you aren’t a regular reader of SpacingOttawa, go to that site to see an article I wrote earlier this week on combined benches+planters, which are also portable:

13 thoughts on “NYC new standard bench

  1. Please tell me that no one is suggesting benches on Bronson. It’s such a lovely avenue for strolling and thinking gentle thoughts… ahem.

  2. Yes, there will be benches on Bronson. Mostly on the bulbouts at side streets, but also benches and/or waiting areas at bus stops along the street.

    If you argue that Bronson is inhospitable and hopeless, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  3. I can’t even get the timing on the light at Christie changed! Or the enormous puddle situation at the NW corner of Somerset and Bronson cleared up so that vehicles don’t splash you when waiting at the bust stop as they speed down Bronson. There’s only so many letters I can write to Diane and Stuart Edison at the city. So many, my three year old son knows them by name. I see benches as something that would come later… Or the crosswalk situation at Gladstone where I witnessed another near-collision last night walking home. There are major safety concerns here that a bench is not going to fix.

      1. The City officially puts pedestrians first. So press a button and the light should change ASAP, with other lights adapting to the change of status.
        However, the City actually puts cars first.

  4. Why don’t the People In Charge think outside the box on these things? Why does it have to be benches, with backs? Why not just other features — planters, dividing walls, retaining walls — that happen to do double-duty as a place to sit?

    I ask because of an extended “optimized” layover at Greenboro today, where there are a few benches, with narrow seats and those stupid anti-vagrancy handles. If you are, like me, or the 5,387 Carleton students transiting through there, using a backpack to carry your life around, those benches are the pits. I’d rather just have a… THING… to sit on, but the only otherwise suitable thing there sprouted a fence. That left the sand-salt container as the only viable other option.

    These spaces always seem to end up designed by rote, or by bureaucrats, with zero input from their eventual users.

    1. I think you do need some with handles, for senior citizens. Anecdotally, until she was 95 my Grandma wold walk the kilometre to the mall most days for a coffee, and appreciated the benches, but needed the handles for support.

      1. The handles are great at the end of the benches, but in the middle? Damn nuisances.

        Either way, MORE seating where it’s needed, including more seating not specifically designed as seating, is required in a great many public spaces, starting with our pathetic busway stations.

      2. Handlebars in mid-bench are as useful as the standard seat dimensions of the buses. And those are designed for much smaller humans than most of us happen to be.

  5. Nice link above to the parkmobiles. What a great idea. I especially like the idea of taking up a car parking space or two if only as a temporary measure. It would be nice to see that kind of imagination here.

  6. Perhaps the N. Bronson traffic problem could be solved if benches/planters were put across the street on the S side of the Laurier intersection, the N & S sides of the Somerset and Gladstone intersections, and the N side of Catherine? You said they were portable?

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