Activist: Any handmade benches removed by DDOT will be replaced - KMSP-TV

Activist: Any handmade benches removed by DDOT will be replaced

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One of the handmade benches that activists Charles Molnar and Kyle Bartell put at a DDOT bus stop. One of the handmade benches that activists Charles Molnar and Kyle Bartell put at a DDOT bus stop.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Students building benches by hand and putting them at bus stops where there is currently no seating say they have been told by city officials to stop.

Most people when they see something they don't like or when they feel like something just isn't right, they just complain about it.  They don't turn that passion into a plan.  But 22-year-old Charles Molnar and 25-year-old Kyle Bartell did.

"We're filling the void where the city kind of lacks on certain things," Bartell said.

Sadden and sick and tired of seeing people standing or sitting on the ground at the bus stop, many of them older individuals unable to have a seat because there wasn't one, that is until Bartell and Kyle and their team of volunteers from Detroit Enterprise Academy came along and built a bus stop bench of recycled wood.  This project was all out of compassion for the people.

"Rebuilding the city with material that was once part of the city," Molnar said.

"We've been getting very good feedback from the general public.  People love this.  People enjoy it.  It's convenient.  That's just kind of what's been feeding us," Bartell said.

There is now a second bench at Trumbull and Grand River.  We're told this is what happened after the first.

"DDOT does not want our bus stop benches.  They said that they did not approve them, and that they're going to start removing them," Molnar said.  "My answer to that is we're going to keep putting them out, and for every one that they pick up, there will be two more out there and there will be one where they took it from.  We're going to replace it."

Bartell and Molnar are both students at Wayne State University.  They told me that they did get approval from someone at DDOT, although it was unofficial.  They said they were told they could put them up.  DDOT cannot technically approve it, but they won't take them down.  They said they will track that person down and make him keep his word.

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