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Miami Has Steel Benches at Bus Stops

August 13, 2002

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MIAMI (AP) _ City officials are in the hot seat _ literally. Mayor Manny Diaz and others are working to fix new black steel benches at city bus stops, which have proven to be too hot to sit on in the summer sun.

``I’ve sat on a bench myself and it’s uncomfortably warm even with a pair of pants on,″ Assistant City Manager Frank Rollason said Monday.

About 150 of the 1,500 new benches have already been installed in the city, replacing older ones made of cement and wood.

Rollason said city planners discussed the potential problem in meetings and that he did not know why it was initially ignored. No more benches will be installed until the problem is resolved, he said.

Sarmiento Advertising Group was awarded the contract in January to produce the new seats. Sarmiento CEO Alberto Waisman has said his company will pay to refit benches.

The solution could be a plastic coating that would insulate the benches, Rollason and Waisman said.

Rollason said he wanted to test a bench with the coating before approving the plan.

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