First they came for the rogue illegal “PHOTO ENFORCED” stop sign. Now, just blocks away, the Seattle Department of Transportation is set to crack down on a rogue community bench.
There has been a bench for decades, neighbors say, near the strange but kind of wonderful cluster of trees and bushes where E Mercer dead ends before beginning again on the other side of 17th Ave E. Last week, neighborhood tipster Ariel alerts, SDOT slapped an impound notice on the bench which sits on the sidewalk within the City of Seattle’s right of way.
“SDOT has received multiple complaints expressing concerns regarding this bench and has been unable to identify an owner responsible,” the notice reads.
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The bench is popular with neighborhood smokers and, yes, CHS has seen a few people who appear to be homeless sitting on the bench from time to time. It’s also popular with kids, squirrels, crows, the occasional Pomeranian, and, we suspect, more.
CHS has reached out to SDOT to learn more about the impoundment notice and what options neighbors might have for keeping the bench in place.
According to the notice, the owner may claim the bench within 60 days and will be responsible for any fees associated with “impounding, transporting, and storing” the property. It doesn’t address additional issues around permitting a neighborhood bench in the public right of way.