America’s Sorriest Bus Stop: Pittsburgh vs. Englewood

ptt_englewood

The Final Four of sorry bus stops is starting to come together.

The first city to secure a spot is Seattle. You can still vote in Friday’s Tampa vs. Chapel Hill match to decide who gets the second spot.

The third spot is up for grabs today. It’s either a perilously balanced Pittsburgh bus stop or a scary stop by the side of a highway in Englewood, New Jersey, across the Hudson from NYC.

Vote below.

Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh bus stop

This entry in the Steel City beat a bus stop in Medford, Massachusetts, in the first round. Submitter Noah Kahrs writes:

You’d think that a bus stop this close to Downtown Pittsburgh and just half a mile from a light rail station and major bike path would be reasonably accessible, but Pittsburgh’s confusing road system gets in the way. This bus stop is alongside a four-lane highway that essentially serves as a full-speed connector between two major interstates, and has no sidewalks along the road. Instead, you can access the bus stop by a footbridge across the highway from Duquesne University, or via a lengthy rickety staircase from the bottom of a sheer 100-foot cliff.

Let the record show that the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette went out and interviewed someone who waits at this stop, and he said it was actually pretty convenient.

Agencies responsible: Port Authority of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh Public Works

Englewood, NJ 

englewood_bus_stop

This stop on Route 4 in Englewood beat New Haven in the first round. It was nominated by Michael Klatsky, who says bus riders are forced to “climb over a guardrail or walk in highway traffic.”

Klatsky also shares this photo showing how transit riders have worn a path in the grass behind the guardrail:

englewood desire line

That matches up with what one of our commenters pointed out: Even though the area isn’t pedestrian-friendly at all, this bus stop still gets plenty of use. It is served by NJ Transit and private jitney operators, on a route that runs from Paterson to the GW Bridge Terminal with high frequencies throughout the day. Route 4 in New Jersey is covered with bus stops like this, but despite the high transit usage, walkable connections from surrounding neighborhoods are in short supply.

Agencies responsible: New Jersey DOT, NJ Transit.

Which bus stop is sorriest?

  • Englewood, NJ (82%, 232 Votes)
  • Pittsburgh (18%, 52 Votes)

Total Voters: 284

bus_stop_2017

  • Miles Bader

    I kinda like the Pittsburgh stop, it may be slightly weird, but it’s also interesting, and accessible enough for the able-bodied. It’s very … Pittsburgh (lived there for about 8 years!).

  • DF

    The Pittsburgh stop actually impressive and not a sorry stop at all. Instead of a cheap and thoughtless design, it involves of dedicated and expensive pedestrian infrastructure. People at the stop are protected by a concrete barrier. And How many bus stops have both an ornate interstate overpass and steps that allow pedestrians to traverse a massive cliff? Not only that, but somehow the bus is permitted to stop on he interstate. This is one of he most impressive no expensive bus stops I’ve ever seen.

  • DF

    Oops. So many typos. Hopefully the gist is understandable despite my lack of proofing and victimization by autocorrect.

  • crazyvag

    At least in either case, the bus doesn’t get bogged down in traffic or trying to merge back. In fact, it probably covers lots of distance in little time for passengers are willing to trade off some benches. Faster than say… SF Muni.

  • Isaac B

    The irony of the Englewood stop is that it’s ~500 feet from the right of way of the Northern Branch rail line, the long-delayed route for the “Bergen” part of the Hudson Bergen LRT

  • infinitebuffalo

    It’s not an interstate, despite appearances. Boulevard of the Allies is a state road (so it should probably be credited to PennDOT above, not Pittsburgh DPW) posted at 40 mph, but speeds routinely approach 60.

  • I’ve used that Pittsburgh stop; it’s pretty handy and well-designed on the Duq side. The steps are kinda crazy, but people in Pittsburgh are used to that and it’s yet another way to get down the hill for people (who might just ignore the stop).

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