Bench Avenue – Chattanooga, Tennessee - Atlas Obscura

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Bench Avenue

When local government began removing public benches, the public pushed back, and vibrant, community-built seating now outnumbers the official shelters at Chattanooga bus stops. 

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In October of 2022, the local government of Chattanooga began removing public benches from bus stops and parks because business owners complained that Chattanoogans experiencing homelessness were utilizing them.

A group called the Chattanooga Urbanist Society was formed and began building their own benches to replace what the city had taken away. They continued pushing forward with the help of other community organizations like ChattaTransit in placing multiple benches every month throughout 2023.

In May 2024, both organizations collaborated with their volunteer networks to deploy 21 new benches in a single afternoon. Dozens of Chattanoogans from all walks of life took 19 of those benches all to a single route that previously had only one bus shelter.

Dodson Ave was transformed to “Bench Avenue” in a matter of hours, providing places of rest and showcasing the creativity of artists, families, and bus riders.

These community-built benches now outnumber the local government’s bus seating, and numbers continue to grow. As of May 2024, over 70 benches can be found at bus stops all across Chattanooga.

Know Before You Go

While this location marks the highest concentration of benches to date, these works of art are scattered all around Chattanooga with their numbers growing every month. To view all of these in one ride/drive, we recommend starting at 3rd St then traveling north.

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