Street objects and furniture includes benches, traffic barriers, street lamps, traffic lights & signs, bus stops, fountains, and other objects and pieces of equipment that are installed along streets and roads for varied public purposes. The aesthetics, visual identity, function, pedestrian mobility, and road safety account for the objects’ placement. Most street furniture is utilitarian in nature, and are regulated to conform to safety and codes. However, the iconic personality, design and implementation of street objects often become an essential part of a place’s constructed identity (for example, the red telephone boxes in Britain, and residential mail boxes in the United States). Street objects hold local significance to its respective place.
The common types of street objects include street name signs, benches, bollards, mailboxes, traffic signs, and waste containers. Other street objects include trash cans, street lamps, billboards, and newspaper vending machines. Bicycle racks, public art, signage, transit shelters, and community kiosks are also considered street objects.
Street objects are typically maintained by the city or town they are in. Many cities have implemented a coordinated street object program in order to further improve and maintain public street objects. These programs have reduced street pollution and increased city revenue.
Street objects are important to society as they provide amenities to pedestrians and add more functionality to a street. Street objects create a safer and more welcoming environment. Street objects should be viewed as a necessity as they improve public safety, help local businesses, add to local real estate value, and improve public transportation.