Los Angeles has been the subject of mockery over a bus shelter described as ‘life-changing’ for women and minorities – but it’s too narrow for just one person to stand under.
City transportation officials held a press conference Thursday to proudly unveil La Sombrita, the prototype bus shelter that consists of a pole attached to a thin perforated metal crane that has drawn ridicule on social media.
La Sombrita (The Little Shadow) costs $10,000 and is part of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s Gender Equality Action Plan (LADOT), which aims to “make meaningful progress toward achieving gender equality.” sexes by 2025″.
The project, costing a total of $200,000, was reportedly informed by a resident advisory committee made up of women and “gender minorities” who said the lack of shade and lighting at bus stops was a major concern.
“The lack of essential amenities like shade and lighting is not just a downside. For women and gender minorities — half of our population — it can change the trajectory of their lives,” said Chelina Odber, CEO of Kounkuey Design Initiative, a nonprofit that designed the structure.
City transportation officials held a press conference Thursday to unveil La Sombrita. Pictured right is Chelina Odber of the Kounkuey Design Initiative, who designed the shelter
A Twitter user shared a photo trying to stand in the shade. “Sorry, you can’t stand La Sombrita,” he joked. ‘The shadow is only for me’
Other online commenters, however, didn’t find the structure amusing and expressed anger at the city spending thousands of dollars on a project they consider unnecessary.
But soon after its unveiling, La Sombrita began making the rounds online, and not for the best of reasons, as social media users began to mock it and criticize city officials for the project.
A Twitter user shared a photo trying to stand in the shade, but not quite being covered by it.
“Sorry, you can’t stand La Sombrita,” he joked. “The shadow is only for me.”
Other online commenters, however, didn’t find the structure amusing and expressed anger at the city spending thousands of dollars on a project it considers unnecessary.
“We are a rich city with nothing but problems because LA city govt is full of scams, rip offs, corruption, waste, bribes, pay to play and other rackets” , said the Twitter user.
Another weighed in: ‘They designed this to provide shade at a bus stop. Several thousand dollars for this fucking prank. You should be embarrassed.
LADOT defended La Sombrita, saying a more traditional shelter would cost up to $50,000, and saying the city’s bureaucratic process prevents the construction of larger shades that touch the sidewalk.
In order to build structures large enough to provide shade, they would need input from other departments. Instead, La Sombritas is attached to existing structures previously put in place by LADOT.
LADOT also supported the structure’s design on Twitter, posting a graphic showing how it “provides shade during the day and uses collected solar energy to illuminate the shutdown at night.”
KDI noted that the structure is not meant to provide shade only, but also features a “solar-powered pedestrian light that illuminates the area around a stop.”
Social media users have also shared images of the structure at night, saying the light doesn’t provide much illumination
LADOT also supported the structure’s design on Twitter, posting a graphic that shows how it “provides shade during the day and uses collected solar energy to illuminate the shutdown at night.”
Colin Sweeney, spokesperson for LADOT, told DailyMail.com that the pilot was fully funded by a grant from a private foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI) also defended its creation on Twitter, saying La Sombrita was “designed to get to work quickly in today’s political landscape.”
“To avoid permits and multi-agency coordination, it had to meet these city standards: be less than 24 inches wide, maintain 4-foot clearance, be fully on the pole, be durable, and be removable,” a said the organization.
KDI noted that the structure is not meant to provide shade only, but also features “a solar-powered pedestrian light that illuminates the area around a stop and adds visibility to the sidewalk. the night”.
But social media users have also shared images of the structure at night, saying the light doesn’t really provide much illumination and only illuminates the pole.
“Ladies of Los Angeles, if you’re taking the bus, don’t leave home without an umbrella and a flashlight, because incompetent voters in Los Angeles have spent tons on ‘shady’ and ‘light’ stuff that doesn’t provide the ‘neither,” a Twitter user said. user next to an image of La Sombrita at night.
Another Twitter user also shared an image of the structure at night and asked, ‘What the f**** is doing lighting up the top of the metal (20ft high)?
“If we issued a challenge to design the most absurd bus stop structure costing $10,000, this would win.”
There are currently four La Sombritas pilots in different areas of Los Angeles. Each structure has a QR code allowing users to complete a survey on how it works and how it could be improved.
“We are committed to making it easier and safer for people to get where they need to go in Los Angeles – and to testing all possible solutions that help us get there. This pilot project, funded entirely by grants, does not replace bus shelters and streetlights, which are critical investments that we need more of, and was designed to test ways to create small amounts of light and shade there. where other solutions are not immediately possible,” LADOT’s spokesperson told DailyMail,com.
“Obviously people are ready to talk about this topic, and it’s given us tons of feedback that we’ll use to inform this and future initiatives.”
DailyMail.com has contacted KDI for comment on this story.