The 15-Minute City and Bus Bench Committee
Lynn Terlaga, Municipal Affairs at COA – Partnering with municipalities and transit authorities to provide cost-free infrastructure.
“In a 15-minute neighborhood, people can access their basic needs (parks, food, etc.) within 15 minutes of walking, biking, or transit.” Transit service is one of the human needs that should be fulfilled in the 15-minute city but using it to define the concept presents serious difficulties. An individual riding transit needs to walk to the station, wait for the train or bus, ride the train or bus, then walk to the final destination.”
Here we are dreaming of 15-minute cities, designing them, planning for them, building them, but wait, what, we can’t build a comfortable bus stop? Can we take a step back and start there? If we’re building 15-minute cities, consider if you will:
Bus benches can help to encourage people to walk to and from bus stops. Which improves public health and reduces traffic congestion, isn’t that at least part of the point of 15-minute cities?
Benches can help older adults and people with disabilities to rest and conserve energy while they wait for their bus. This can make it possible for them to travel independently and access the same opportunities as everyone else. “As the nation’s aging population continues to rise – with 1 in every 5 Americans expected to be 65+ by 2020 – the provision of safe and accessible transportation options remains a top concern of older adults, caregivers, and the communities where they live”. So important for social inclusion and integration.
Low-income riders are more likely to rely on public transit than people from higher-income households. Bus benches can help to make public transit more accessible and affordable for low-income riders. Social equity anyone?
15 Minute Cities may be a 2030 goal, but let’s not keep our transit riders standing for years while we wait. While some have attempted to transform bus stops into elaborate digital meccas, most would benefit from a simple, basic addition – a place to sit.
“Public engagement generates qualitative data and builds procedural equity. But, traditionally, lengthy public comment follows jargon-filled presentations on weeknights in government buildings.”
It doesn’t have to be that way, easy, set it and forget it, cost and maintenance free options are available. Reach out for details, no pitch, just info.