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Helping Hand: College Park resident builds bench for MARTA stop

College Park resident Ryan Kelly said he hopes it inspires other to help their own communities

Earlier this year, MARTA announced it would add benches and shelters to bus stops across the city.

MARTA executives said adding the amenities to more than 1,000 bus stops in Atlanta was part of an effort to enhance rider experience overall. 

However, one College Park resident recently took it into his own hands to improve a neighborhood MARTA stop.

When Ryan Kelly noticed that a MARTA bus stop along Main Street, a main thoroughfare in the Tri-Cities area, didn’t have a bench, he decided to build one himself, according to reporting from 11Alive

» RELATED: 1,000 MARTA bus stops to get shelters, benches

Kelly has lived in Georgia most his life, but he’s only lived in College Park for a couple of years. Still, he wanted to do something to help his neighbors. In a take on the famous John F. Kennedy quote, Kelly wrote on Facebook, “Ask not what your community can do for you, but rather what you can do for your community.”

He said he thought the neighborhood “could do better” that the tree stump that was there.

“Sometimes we take things for granted. A place to sit may not be the greatest thing in the world, but maybe a luxury for someone who is injured, pregnant, elderly, or just trying to get home after work,” Kelly wrote in a Facebook post.

Kelly reached out his councilmember, Ambrose Clay, with the idea. When he got the green light, Kelly paid for the supplies to build the bench.

» RELATED: How bad is Atlanta traffic? It depends on how you look at it

“We worked together on a plan and I built a bench out of wood and concrete,” Kelly said. 

He installed the bench earlier this month. And so far, Kelly says the response has been “overwhelmingly positive.”

He says he’s heard from friends on Facebook who now say they want to do something in their own communities.

» RELATED: Atlanta ranks among America’s ‘most congested’ cities

“I think it’s great and hopefully it catches on,” Kelly told 11Alive. Might not be a bench, but maybe it’s a garden … maybe it’s a thing that a community really needs — small or large.”

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