Last week, our post about the new benches installed at Wilshire/Vermont station drew a grumbling "hmm, slow day? why you writing about benches" comment. Exhibit A on why benches in cities are never just benches: Santa Monica is looking to ban pan-handling from the benches and seats along the Third Street promenade. (It's currently not illegal to pan-handle on the Third Street Promenade although there are some exceptions concerning soliciting money from groups of people, i.e., people waiting in movie lines.) The Lookout News' Jorge Casuso reports that City Attorney Marsha Moutrie says there are about 100 benches and seats along the three-block stretch of the Promenade, but the homeless are monopolizing these seats. Via the LN: “The limited seating to the Promenade is occupied for long periods of time by persons soliciting donations,” Moutrie said. “This is not directed at the homeless. It’s directed at an activity that monopolizes seating." Meanwhile, no response yet on this measure from LA's Homeless Blog.
· Council Moves to Ban Panhandling from Promenade Seating [Lookout News]