New tactical urbanism project adds painted tree stump seating to bus stops

A new project by the UA’s Office of Sustainability will bring some creative seating options to residents waiting for the bus in Fayetteville this winter.

Officials last week began placing colorful hand-painted hardwood tree stumps at bus stops around Fayetteville as part of a new tactical urbanism project.

The stumps are painted and clear coated on a sanded stump surface. In all, about 40 stump seats will be placed at each site.

“The goal is to improve the experience of our transit patrons,” said Eric Boles, director for the Office of Sustainability. “The project will be considered a success if people relax on the seats. The hardwood logs are extremely durable and can become firewood – ensuring that the log will never become litter.”

The stumps were placed on Poplar Street near Chestnut Apartments, and on Leverett Avenue near Noble Oaks Apartments. The group hopes to add more at the following stops:

  • Gregg Street at Township Street
  • Gregg Street at Lake Village Drive
  • Church Avenue and Center Street
  • Mountain Street and School Avenue
  • Leveret Avenue at North Creekside Apartments
  • McConnell Avenue and Burr Oak Drive
  • Hill Avenue north of MLK Jr. Blvd.
  • 15th Street west of Razorback Road

The city has been encouraging these tactical urbanism projects in recent years, designed to be low-cost, short-term solutions to issues in the community to test improvements that could eventually become more permanent. The painted crosswalks at the corner of Rock Street and Mill Avenue, and the parklet in front of UARK Bowl on Dickson Street are recent examples of tactical urbanism at work in Fayetteville.

Fayetteville city staff worked with Ozark Regional Transit and Razorback Transit on some improvements, including a free fare ridership program, and improved frequency at bus stop locations. The next step in the process, officials said, is to make other improvements for transit riders, including bus stop amenities like shelters and benches. The stump seating project is a way to help with that goal.

For more information about these types of projects, or to get involved, officials created a guide that includes timelines, material suggestions, and state and city standards for street and right-of-way projects, installation instructions, and more.

To provide feedback about the projects, a survey has also been created.

A bit more information about the project is also available at the UA’s Sustainability blog.