[Hpn] New benches have steel dividers to make it harder for homeless to sleep

Graeme Bacque gbacque@colosseum.com
Thu, 04 Nov 2004 21:18:10 -0500

These things have been used on park benches in Toronto for years. 
Typically they consist of an extra pair of metal 'armrests' that 
partition the bench into three sections, making it impossible to lie 
down on.

Calling this approach  'mean-spirited' is somewhat of an understatement. 
If you ask me, this interference with someone's natural vital functions 
(i.e. eating, sleeping or eliminating wastes) is a willful act of torture.


William Charles Tinker wrote:

> http://vancouver.cbc.ca/
> Bus shelters not homeless-friendly
> Nov 4, 2004
> VANCOUVER - New benches in Vancouver bus shelters are a "mean-spirited"
> attack on the homeless, says the Downtown Eastside Residents Association.
> The 450 new benches feature raised steel dividers, making it more
> uncomfortable for people to lie down on them.
> DERA spokesperson Kim Kerr says city hall needs to make more 
> allowances for
> people who can't afford shelter.
> Rino Viswasam, the project manager for the city's street furniture 
> program,
> says the dividers weren't designed to target the homeless.
> But he does say they're the results of concerns expressed by transit 
> users
> at a workshop with city officials.
> "There was some concern from transit users about people using the 
> benches to
> sleep on. They felt uncomfortable to ask people to move on, so that they
> could sit on the benches," he says.
> Viswasam says the dividers are also meant to make it impossible for 
> anyone
> to sit in the middle, and take up all the space.
> He also points out that the raised steel dividers also give elderly 
> riders a
> lever to raise themselves up.
> Copyright  CBC 2004