City removes illegal benches following complaints

Indianapolis' Department of Business and Neighborhood Services, formerly known as code enforcement, removed 52 benche...

Posted: Jan 30, 2018 10:59 PM
Updated: Jan 30, 2018 10:59 PM

Indianapolis' Department of Business and Neighborhood Services, formerly known as code enforcement, removed 52 benches Monday following Call 6 Investigates report about illegal advertising benches popping up across the city.

A contractor crew got rid of the benches after the city found 116 in violation.

"The number one issue is safety," said Brandi Pahl, Chief Communications Officer, City of Indianapolis Department of Business & Neighborhood Services. "A lot of them are really close to the streets, and then there's the trash angle. People just dump their trash and no one really cleans it up."

Pahl said the city made an effort to contact the bench owners and gave them an opportunity to remove them.

If the city could not reach the owner or the owner did not comply, a vendor was assigned to remove the illegal bench.

Only one bench was voluntarily removed and the city gave extensions to two companies that own 30 benches, said Pahl.

"They will be not be cited, because city code does not really allow for citations for this," said Pahl. "But, we have talked with our legal department and we working on ways if they don't comply to remedy it."

Wayne Township Trustee Andy Harris and city-county councilor Janice McHenry expressed concerns in October about the billboard benches, because they are in the city's right of way without a permit yet the city does not collect any revenue from it.

"Many residents and business owners are relieved to see action being taken," said Trustee Harris. "I want to thank those involved who made this happen. This is an issue that has frustrated our community for years with the trash left behind at these benches."

Harris and other community leaders have complained for years about the illegal benches.

"What took so long was the process of finding out who owns the benches and what we can do legally within the city code to get these removed," said Pahl.

Of course, many people want a place to sit when they're waiting for the bus.

A local ordinance allows legal advertising at some bus stops, according to Bryan Luellen, IndyGo VP Public Affairs and Communications.

"Through a contract between IndyGo and fairway outdoor, advertising can be purchased legally," said Luellen. "As part of our transit expansion we will be adding additional benches and shelters at locations around the city. All our investments are required to be ADA accessible and connected by sidewalk and permitted through Business and Neighborhood Services."

Call 6 Investigates reached out to some of the phone numbers listed on the signs, including Mini Billboards, however we did not receive a response.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 308111

Reported Deaths: 7122
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20826248
Hinds19910411
Harrison17510302
Rankin13334276
Jackson13118243
Madison9908210
Lee9871170
Jones8297160
Forrest7525147
Lauderdale7198237
Lowndes6272144
Lamar611084
Lafayette6039117
Washington5281133
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Panola4445103
Pearl River4428141
Warren4284118
Marshall4276100
Pontotoc416972
Monroe4061132
Union403975
Neshoba3994176
Lincoln3871109
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Tate322782
Pike3188104
Scott310872
Yazoo304468
Alcorn298065
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Copiah293265
Coahoma289778
Simpson288284
Tippah284868
Prentiss275759
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Leake261373
Wayne261341
Grenada255384
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Adams246082
Newton245161
George238147
Winston225981
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Attala213473
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Holmes186872
Clay182854
Stone179331
Clarke177076
Tallahatchie175540
Calhoun163531
Yalobusha159236
Smith158834
Walthall130643
Greene129433
Lawrence126423
Noxubee126233
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120926
Amite120141
Webster113532
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102725
Claiborne101330
Benton97325
Kemper95428
Humphreys94332
Franklin82123
Quitman78916
Choctaw73417
Wilkinson64928
Jefferson64828
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 520503

Reported Deaths: 10722
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754091487
Mobile38938798
Madison33898495
Tuscaloosa25297443
Montgomery23992567
Shelby23124239
Baldwin20652300
Lee15541165
Calhoun14301311
Morgan14145270
Etowah13665346
Marshall11967219
Houston10381278
Elmore10001200
Limestone9822147
Cullman9481188
St. Clair9435234
Lauderdale9223227
DeKalb8748181
Talladega8071171
Walker7100275
Jackson6762110
Autauga6734103
Blount6497135
Colbert6210130
Coffee5404112
Dale4766110
Russell429038
Franklin419982
Chilton4087109
Covington4056114
Tallapoosa3898146
Escambia388574
Dallas3531149
Chambers3503122
Clarke346560
Marion3066100
Pike305876
Lawrence295395
Winston272572
Bibb256459
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens233059
Barbour225255
Hale218775
Butler212566
Fayette209260
Henry187744
Cherokee182144
Randolph176941
Monroe172040
Washington164238
Macon154848
Clay149555
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146241
Lamar139334
Lowndes136553
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109128
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99328
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Choctaw58724
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