Deja Vu: Allen Street Mall Benches are Breaking Again

Posted on: November 2nd, 2016 at 5:09 am by
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A feeling of deja vu has washed over the Allen Street Mall, where bench seating is getting bottomed out. Again.

Only a brief thirteen months since the city replaced defective hardware in the benches, and already there are problems. Time to take stock. Those new wooden slats are starting to break again. Most of the affected benches seem to be between Hester and Grand Streets, where several pieces are either splintered or completely missing.

We first exposed the problem of these iron benches two years ago, and it eventually snowballed into a mainstream story. Slats had been missing for quite awhile, and many blamed the skateboarders. But that wasn’t entirely true. Rather, it was the manufacturer. The Parks Department confirmed that there was a defect in the initial shipment of wood used. Apparently the pieces were so brittle that you could easily break with one hand. Replacements were promised on several occasions in the interim but didn’t actually happen until October 2015. Wear and tear is starting to take its toll, though.

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