Northampton removes some downtown benchesAP , Associated Press
May. 24, 2013 9:01 AM ET
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — The city of Northampton has removed six of the 16 benches in its busy downtown shopping district — because it seems people were actually sitting on them.
Mayor David Narkewicz says the city received numerous complaints, particularly from businesses, about people loitering for hours on benches he says were meant for short-term use.
Daniel Yacuzzo, director of the Business Improvement District, says the benches are meant for the comfort of shoppers, but had become "a campground for the very few."
The public's response has been mixed.
Some say the benches were removed to discourage the homeless and panhandlers from hanging around downtown.
If that was the intent, it hasn't worked, because they now just sit on the ground.
Narkewicz says the impact of the benches' removal will be reviewed.