The Answers Issue: Why are some of the new Metrobus shelter benches tilted downward?

Why are some of the new Metrobus shelter benches tilted downward, causing you to slide off ?

They’re not supposed to be. The benches were designed in 2007 under a 20-year deal between the District and Clear Channel Adshel. The company builds and maintains the bus shelters; in exchange, it gets to sell their ad space. The city got $150 million for the deal, which—this being D.C.—included design input from nine community meetings. The idea, says District Department of Transportation spokesman John Lisle, was to strike a balance between easy-to-sit and difficult-to-camp, “comfortable while waiting for the bus but not comfortable enough to encourage people to sleep in the shelters.” Still, you aren’t supposed to slide off them: “That is not a standard design component,” Lisle says. Which could mean this is a case of user error.

Our Readers Say

Could be an installation problem; sidewalks themselves slope downward, so that they drain towards the curb. Bus shelters are supposed to be placed on leveling blocks to accommodate this slope, but maybe someone's been installing them without the levelers.

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