Caption Contest: A Bench for Adrenaline Junkies

It’s time for another caption contest! This oddly placed bench at the intersection of Patton Avenue (US74) and Florida Avenue in Asheville, North Carolina, offers the kind of view only a traffic engineer could love, and probably very few have stuck around long enough to find out.

Ashville-based planner Don Kostelec offers a better look at this insanely dangerous intersection in this Youtube video. No crosswalks, no pedestrian crossing signals, just a whole lot of fast moving traffic and this inviting bench.

We already have a couple of contenders:

Think you can do better? Tweet your own or add them in the comments.

  • What a nice place to come down from that street-crossing adrenaline rush.

  • Plaque on the bench reads: “In memory of whoever tried to sit here last. RIP.”

  • Usually when I see benches that close to traffic, it’s because they have advertising on them and the ad agency wants to make sure they are visible to passing drivers. If no pedestrians ever sit on them, so much the better because they will just cover the ad. OK, here is my caption: “Enjoy the refreshing breeze from passing trucks.”

  • Amy

    “See, we don’t need to build pedestrian infrastructure. No one ever wants to sit on this bench!”

  • “DOT Project Success Story: Pedestrians running across the intersection were unable to stop themselves from hitting the signal post at the corner. We applied for pedestrian safety funds to install a bench that has reduced the number of collisions against the signal post.”

  • gneiss

    “The road was widened to provide a more complete clear zone and comply with LOS requirements, but we didn’t have funding or an easement to relocated the bench.”

  • war_on_hugs

    “Come for the exhaust fumes, stay because… there’s no walk signal.”

  • Joe Linton

    “This bench was cheaper than the crash barrier in the specs for this road”

  • “Take a seat and lament about your terrible life decision to use your legs like a sucker”

  • Airstream200

    The Asheville Bench: where the rubber meets the node.

  • “Meditation Level-Up Qualification Platform”

  • Sirinya Matute

    Holy crap. I’m sorry that I don’t have any caption ideas. However, as someone who works in a transit agency, unfortunately, I periodically come across photos taken after a vehicle collision mangles a bus bench or shelter we serve. I have yet to hear of any injuries, but I hear about people scrambling to get out of harm’s way. It worries me for many reasons, the most obvious being what if you’re not able to get out of the way?

    There are no streets in my service area where the speed limit posted is as high as this highway, but that’s almost irrelevant. Invariably, motorists who mangle the street furniture were almost always speeding before they lost control of their vehicles.

  • Alicia

    But in this case, no ads on the bench, so…?

  • We have had people hit and killed waiting at bus stops here in Maryland.

  • So it was just an unfortunate combination of a bad plan and no one in the field willing to say, “Hey boss, do they really want us to put the bench HERE?”.

  • Robbie

    Google Streetview. Looks like it might be an overflow bench for the transit stop.
    Caption: “The city issued a press release today heralding their efforts to improve the environment for walking.”

  • Robbie

    Even worse, you can see in Streetview that: 1. There is a bicyclist attemtping to cross the street (but good lane positioning by the bicyclist to avoid a right hook), 2. there are no painted crosswalk lines anywhere, 3. There is a discontinuous sidewalk from the strip mall, meaning anyone in a wheelchair would have to go out in the street to get to the transit stop. It makes me very sad that the majority of the U.S. is actually built just like this.

  • Melanie Curry

    This bench is a monument to planners who would never dream of walking here. Why aren’t you people driving cars?

  • jarendt

    The speed limit at this corner is 45; the design speed is higher. The gaps between safe speed, speed limit, and design speed often are reasons behind drivers speeding and crashing.

  • Sirinya Matute

    oy vey

  • EcoAdvocate

    Why a bench? Cheaper than a guardrail!

  • EcoAdvocate

    Tired legs? Come sit. People without shelter won’t even sleep here. A bench with guaranteed vacancy!


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