Have you noticed that advertising benches are again cluttering up the public’s sidewalks? Most of these advertising benches have been illegally placed. Back in March, 2016 the City of Cincinnati amended its complete prohibition of advertising benches on sidewalks (CMC Sec.718.9) and passed an ordinance (CMC Sec. 723-13) to permit advertising benches in the public right-of-way, but only at transit shelters, not to be confused with “stand alone” benches at bus stops where advertising benches are still prohibited. The benches are to be placed on a paved surface and “in a manner that the open area of the sidewalk does not impede pedestrian traffic” (to be at least 6 feet wide).
Since this amendment was passed, advertising benches have proliferated on major streets throughout the city. Most of these benches have been placed illegally, as they are contrary to the City’s Ordinances above. They are often on grassy strips, on traffic islands, some not even at bus stops, many blocking pedestrian right-of-way, and contributing to visual pollution of our urban street scape. It has been suggested that these advertising benches, for which payment for a permit to install is required, are more to raise money for the operation of the street car than for the benefit of public transportation riders. These illegally placed advertising benches can be removed by reporting the location of the bench to Michael Moore, City of Cincinnati Director of Transportation and Engineering, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 352.2366.
Gerry Kraus, Cincinnati Neighborhood Zoning Task Force (CNZTF)