Campbell River’s bus bench placement and advertising questioned

EDITOR’S NOTE: We received a copy of a letter sent to Mayor Andy Adams, city councillors and Drew Hadfield, city Transportation Manager by Darlyne Shane. Before we could publish it, we received a copy of Hadfield’s reply to Shane. We reprint Shane’s letter with Hadfield’s point-by-point responses.

I am watching, with great interest, construction work for the installation of two new bus shelters in Willow Point. One located on the South Island Highway at Erickson Road, and another just around the corner on Erickson Road east of Reef Crescent.

With the increased bus traffic in this area, I’m sure the shelters will be welcome additions as the weather turns colder.

However, I am constantly disappointed by decisions made with respect to the placement of standalone benches provided to the City by Creative Outdoor Advertising (COA).

Why is there no bench for the many bus passengers I see standing (or sitting on rocks!) waiting for a bus at the stop adjacent to the C.R. Women’s Resource Centre on Dogwood?

Once again it reinforces my opinion that these benches are installed solely for the purpose of advertising and not for the benefit of riders. Case in point, there sits a bench, replete with advertising, just down the block in front of Home Hardware and there is no signage to indicate that this location is a bus stop!

No doubt the premise is that if benches were to be placed where they were of real benefit to bus passengers — and they actually sit on them — then how will we be able to see their advertisements?

Perhaps COA will step-up and provide another bench, at their own expense, as they did at Willow Point Supportive Living on Larwood or, even better, a local business will choose to stand out from the crowd, decide to forego bombarding us with yet another advertisement, and use a bench to sponsor an inspirational quote, such as the following by Mark Twain:

“Do the right thing — it will gratify some people and astonish the rest!”

Hopefully when the contract with COA is up for renewal, the City will stipulate that a percentage of the bus bench installs must be reserved for locations deemed to be of benefit to the whole community and not just to advertisers.

Darlyne Shane

Good afternoon Ms. Shane

Please see below for some clarification to your questions and concerns below. We are already working on a number of your concerns.

Please let me know if you have any further questions

Drew Hadfield

Transportation Manager

(Hadfield’s responses in point form in italics):

I am watching, with great interest, construction work for the installation of two new bus shelters in Willow Point. One located on the South Island Highway at Erickson Road, and another just around the corner on Erickson Road east of Reef Crescent.

With the increased bus traffic in this area, I’m sure the shelters will be welcome additions as the weather turns colder.

  • Thank you.. it will be a couple of weeks for them to be installed as we need to allow some time for the concrete to cure and the supplier to install them. The benches were removed prior to the bases being installed. Shelters are being installed at 16th and Tamarac as well. We are looking at a few other locations at new stops or those that see higher traffic or users (we consult with the bus driver through their employer to ideas and preferred locations for shelters and benches as they know were the people require these services)

However, I am constantly disappointed by decisions made with respect to the placement of stand-alone benches provided to the City by Creative Outdoor Advertising (COA).

Why is there no bench for the many bus passengers I see standing (or sitting on rocks!) waiting for a bus at the stop adjacent to the C.R. Women’s Resource Centre on Dogwood?

  • The City does not “own” land to install a shelter or a bench at that location. We are working on the issue BUT we cannot place a structure or bench in trespass on that lot.
  • We are looking at options, but the property line for most of Dogwood is at the back of the sidewalks on both sides of the roadway from 9th through to 16th Ave

Once again it reinforces my opinion that these benches are installed solely for the purpose of advertising and not for the benefit of riders. Case in point, there sits a bench, replete with advertising, just down the block in front of Home Hardware and there is no signage to indicate that this location is a bus stop!

  • Please note the bus stop is at 11th and Dogwood and at Mariner Square/DW. There is no stop in front of Home Hardware (but we are considering moving the one at 11th to 12th ).

No doubt the premise is that if benches were to be placed where they were of real benefit to bus passengers — and they actually sit on them — then how will we be able to see their advertisements?

Perhaps COA will step-up and provide another bench, at their own expense, as they did at Willow Point Supportive Living on Larwood or, even better, a local business will choose to stand out from the crowd, decide to forego bombarding us with yet another advertisement, and use a bench to sponsor an inspirational quote, such as the following by Mark Twain:

“Do the right thing — it will gratify some people and astonish the rest!”

Hopefully when the contract with COA is up for renewal, the City will stipulate that a percentage of the bus bench installs must be reserved for locations deemed to be of benefit to the whole community and not just to advertisers.

  • As noted above, we cannot install a shelter or a bench in trespass and are looking at options to server our customers better. We look for the input of the bus drivers/operating company, to help us with chose locations that will serve the users the best.

Darlyne Shane