At the November 2 meeting of the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Council, members approved the placement of 15 benches along Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. The council’s bench committee, chaired by Camilla Ingram, worked for two months on bench designs and placement.
Community members walked the park trail from Adair Street to Ladera Street to determine where benches are needed. The committee came back to the council with a recommendation for 20 locations. The council approved the recommendations.
The committee rejected the bench design put forward by the Park and Recreation Department, stating that the benches would not stand up to the harsh marine environment and were not aesthetically proper for the park’s master-plan guidelines.
The bench committee recommended and the council approved benches made with ipe, a tropical hardwood usually sourced from Brazil. The Park and Recreation Department took the recommendations under advisement.
At the meeting, Mike Ruiz and Dan Daneri of Park and Rec. presented a plan for 15 bench locations within the park and technical drawings of the ipe wood benches. Ingram pushed for the 20 bench locations to be approved, but Ruiz stated that because of ADA regulations, 15 benches are all they can go forward with at this time.
The cost of installing 15 ipe wood benches that conform to ADA guidelines is $43,000. Currently, the Park and Rec Department has $20,000 available for benches.
The Park and Rec Department will now put up for bid the construction and installation of the first 6 benches. The remainder will be installed as funds become available either from the city or from charitable contributions.
Currently there are 15 “unofficial” guardrail benches along Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. They may be removed at any time under orders from the city’s Risk Management Department. The park council voted to leave the unofficial benches in place. Ruiz stated that his department is focusing on installing the new benches, and the status of the guardrail benches is out of his hands at this time.