PORTLAND – TriMet is in the process of unveiling its new ‘leaner’ benches, which the transportation agency says helps them comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act in places where benches won’t fit. But the benches may irk some riders looking for a more comfortable place to sit.
In a project completely funded by Lamar Advertising, 600 new metal benches, including around 50 leaners, will replace older wooden and concrete seating options at TriMet bus stops.
The ‘leaner’ benches have angled seats that are higher than traditional benches, making it so riders waiting for a bus can’t quite sit, instead lean against the bench.
Oregonian commuting columnist Joseph Rose wasn’t too pleased by the change.
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“It looks like a torture device from Game of Thrones,” he said in an Oregonian report. “It’s more playground slide than bench.”
Margaret Martin, the owner of Decorative Metal Services in Vancouver, was contracted to create the new benches. She said the leaner benches were only put in places where traditional benches wouldn't fit, and offer a place to rest for a short period of time.
"I'm really proud of these," she said. "They look beautiful."
In addition to complying with ADA laws, TriMet spokeswoman Angela Murphy said “new benches and leaners will be secured in place, reducing unintended behaviors.”
The first benches were installed in North Portland and the rest will be put in over the course of the year.