Handmade bench creates comfort for panhandlers at Albuquerque intersection

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Panhandlers at an intersection asking for donations is something many drivers see on a daily basis. However, one major Albuquerque intersection is making it more comfortable for them.

“Why is that there?” asked a driver.

“That” would be a bench, which seemed to have been bolted onto a “Do Not Enter” sign at the intersection of I-40 westbound and 98th.

The bench is giving panhandlers a little comfort while they ask for donations.

“I like people to be comfortable if they’re going to be there anyway,” said another driver.

For drivers who pull up close enough, there’s even a message on the seat. The message says: Never Give Up.

“I think it’s a no no. It’s trash,” said one driver.

“I hate it,” said another driver.

People like Fernando Ygado can appreciate the bench for what it is.

“It’s very creative, it’s very nice. They had to come out here and take some time to put it together,” he said. “They got a couple of bolts through there so yeah. It’s pretty neat though, it looks good,” he continued.

However, the message on the bench won’t have a chance to inspire people for much longer.

The Department of Transportation tells KRQE News 13 that it will have to be removed for safety reasons and it’s not allowed in the right-of-way.

It’s something the DOT doesn’t see often and they have no idea who did it. So far, people have mixed feelings about it being there.

“If it’s not hurting anybody, it’s perfectly fine there,” said one driver.

“They should go do some work, you know!” said another driver.

“It says ‘Never Give Up’ so it seems like somebody is trying to encourage these guys that are out here panhandling or something so that’s pretty cool you know?” said Ygado.

The DOT says that they have no idea how long the bench has been there and they plan to remove it sometime this week.

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