America’s Sorriest Bus Stop: Silver Spring vs. Boston

The competition to be named America’s Sorriest Bus Stop started out with 16 ghastly contenders, and your votes have whittled the field down to four disasters for transit riders.

Yesterday voting began in the first semi-final match — Kansas City is currently ahead of Broomfield for a spot in the championship round, and with the polls open until midnight it could go either way.

The other bus stop that will vie for the title will be one of these two terrible entries from Boston and Silver Spring, Maryland.

Silver Spring

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 3.48.12 PM

Dan Reed, a local planner, nominated this stop in Silver Spring, Maryland, which routed the competition from Asheville earlier in the week.

The Washington Post took an interest and tried to get to the bottom of who’s responsible for this sorry bus stop on the side of a dangerous state highway. What they found was pretty telling.

When WaPo reporter Luz Lazo asked the three agencies with jurisdiction here — the Maryland State Highway Administration, Montgomery County, and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority — about the bus stop, they all said it was someone else’s fault.

Hilariously, Montgomery County spokesperson Esther Bowring said the 13 people who board here on a typical day “probably appreciate” not having to stand in the actual travel lane. Where they would get killed in an instant.

Reed said the finger-pointing “really illustrates how often the people who plan our roads and the people who plan our transit don’t always communicate with each other.”

Boston

Boston Bus Stop

What sets this Bean Town stop apart is its forbidding location on a traffic island, says our anonymous submitter:

This bus stop is next to one of Boston’s largest hotels, the 300+ room DoubleTree and its award-winning jazz club. People who work, stay, or visit have to brave crossing several lanes of chaotic traffic to take the bus. The stop is on a median island surrounded by on- and off-ramps to the Mass Pike (I-90). and the 5-lane Cambridge Street which has no crosswalks and no curb cuts. There is no shelter from the elements and in the winter snow gets plowed onto the sidewalk which is never shoveled.

Here’s an alternate view:

Boston Bus Stop 2

Agencies in charge: MassDOT, MBTA.

Which bus stop is the sorriest?

  • Silver Spring (77%, 399 Votes)
  • Boston (23%, 122 Votes)

Total Voters: 521

Here is a map of all our contestants.

And the bracket…

bus_stop_2016

  • Andrew

    The upside-down bus stop sign is the icing on the cake in the Boston photo.

  • gneiss

    A comment from the WaPo article on the Silver Springs stop, “This is my bus stop. I live in the neighborhood across the street. When I do take the bus, I have to walk down to the 4 corners stop about 1/2 mile away if I want to live to see my kids at night. Drivers go incredibly fast on 29 (Colesville) North and South. I would love to see an improvement made to this stop. The intersection at Crestmoor Drive and 29 is so dangerous that I was told when I moved into the neighborhood to never try to turn left onto 29 south when driving. There had been two fatal accidents, and my new elderly neighbor, with tears in his eyes,said “I knew both of them.” I took his advice and I am very careful when I am driving out of the neighborhood. Let alone ever trying to use this bus stop. Plenty of people use the bus in our neighborhood, and if this could be made safe (pedestrian bridge, anyone?) lots of people would use it every day.”

  • Mitch

    That MBTA-MassDOT bus stop isn’t being fixed any time soon. There are a ton of MBTA-MassDOT vacancies. Noboby wants to work under Stephanie Pollack, a screaming child turned transportation secretary

  • cherris

    Desperate times in Massachusetts. When my office received word that a local cyclist & cyclist advocate was going to be a state transportation director, it sent alarm bells across the floor. She’s a sweet person, but Jackie DeWolfe isn’t the brightest bulb in the pack, just another “Pollack thirty-something” that can fill empty state space

  • calwatch

    No, she doesn’t have to walk down to “four corners” (University and Colesville). As the Washington Post article quoted from a representative from the state highway department, there’s a stop at Eastwood Avenue, a signalized crosswalk with zebra striping. The distance is only 900 feet, which is quite reasonable for most ambulatory people to walk. The Silver Spring stop should be eliminated, not improved.

  • wapponie

    Had to use that stop once, never again. The state doesn’t have the dollars to even fix that sign, yet Stephanie Pollack, Mass’ transpo sec, just created a fluff “sustainable mobility” director position for one of her friends. Lord save us from Pollack

  • Paul Schimek

    Well these comments from Mitch and cherris are awfully mean, misogynistic, and false. Plus, as it turns out, this stop will be rebuilt as part of this project:
    https://www.massdot.state.ma.us/highway/HighlightedProjects/AllstonI90InterchangeImprovementProject.aspx

  • Paul Schimek

    How did all these cranks find the Streetsblog site anyhow?

  • Mike

    There is a bus stop along Hwy 410 in Prince George’s County that rivals the top contenders. Four lanes with a suggested posted speed limit of 35 MPH, no trees of course, and a sign installed IN THE SHOULDER of the highway. Thats right, no concrete pad, or any form of protection. And its located in an area that requires you to walk along the shoulder of the road to get to the stop.

    Just look on Google Maps between East-West Hwy and 23rd Ave.

  • We get these Pollack comments a lot. I agree they are weirdly personal and have misogynistic tones. Not a fan.

  • Meryl

    Unfortunately, they’re not. As a women (because apparently that’s important if you critique another women) I can echo that same sentiments through firsthand accounts. At a meeting with Pollack in the room, I mentioned that the financials for Greater Boston’s Green Line Extension, a project dear to Pollack’s heart, didn’t gel. Pollack went into a full blown tantrum and called me things far worse than any standard online comment. And with Jackie, I experienced several meetings with her where Pollack tried to coach her through the conversation. Some topics would go over Jackie’s head, and we would have to break it down for her. Although I wouldn’t use the same language as Mitch and cherris, I understand where the pain is coming from. Angie, Paul, you may want to dig a little deeper. Jim Braude is a good place to start

  • You guys aren’t doing this witchhunt on this site. We don’t care if Stephanie Pollack offended you, especially if you can’t even attach your name to it. No more weird comments about Stephanie Pollack. They’re off topic and I will delete them all.

  • Maggie

    Check the Boston Globe. negative Pollack reaction has become universal, but you’re the only ones who have a problem with it. We know Pollack and DeWolfe are unqualified hacks.

  • MBTAMav

    Thanks for removing those comments about Jackie DeWolfe. We’ll send something in the mail shortly. Please be on the lookout for any additional comments. The negative response to the hiring has been overwhelming to us. We’re trying our best to make it through

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