I’ve posted a bunch of pictures of benches, mostly in Cambridge but one, with a fire pit, from my bike trip to Erie, PA (it was someplace along the Canal outside of Fort Plain) and one from Montreal. My hope is to collect a selection of pictures of different benches, or the same benches being used in different ways, to help have a discussion about what sort of benches might work for Cambridge. In many ways, the greater discussion is how to mitigate problematic behavior, not just by homeless people but also by folks who smoke while waiting for a bus, people who hang out late at night and sit and talk and all sorts of other situations that can cause consternation even if not intended to do so.
Some ‘benches’ are not really benches, but are walls or garden ornaments that may function as benches. Or may be studded with rocks to keep them from doing so. Some benches surround trees, some are private, some are MBTA or City. For something that provides such a simple function (sitting), the varieties seem endless.
Please post what you wish as well.
CEMUSA-style bus station in Montreal. Try lying on that bench!
Benches on median strip outside of Harvard Square. Comfy for lounging.
Rocks on this garden wall both decorate and make the surface uncomfortable for sitting
This bench, on Mass Ave near Porter Square, looks almost antique and perhaps too frail to invite folks to “camp” on it.
At CRLS, a round bench circles a dead tree. These benches encourage sitting but not lying, “camping” or face-to-face interaction (the so-called “living room” effect).
These heavy duty benches, I think near the East Cambridge Courthouse complex, are big enough and solid enough for just about anything. Their out-of-the-way location may minimize undesired use, though.
These benches in Harvard Square help illustrate why some people are worried about benches. The junk regularly left on these, and other nearby benches, is a problem.
This bench, in Upstate New York, reminds us of what we’d really like benches to be for. Relaxing by a campfire. We’re not likely to see much of this in Cambridge, though.
These Area IV benches are durable and help define the walkway. Their lack of a back and hard, cold surface may make them less attractive to long-term visitors and the lack of a nearby benches facing them also cuts down on the “living room” effect.