Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Transit

St. Louis Stunner Runs Away With the Vote for America’s Sorriest Bus Stop

1:04 PM EST on February 13, 2015

This bus stop in the St. Louis suburb of Lindbergh was the overwhelming favorite for sorriest bus stop. Photo: NextSTL
This bus stop in the St. Louis suburb of Maryland Heights was the overwhelming favorite for sorriest bus stop. Image via NextSTL
This bus stop in the St. Louis suburb of Lindbergh was the overwhelming favorite for sorriest bus stop. Photo: NextSTL

In the end, it was never even close. This bus stop on Lindbergh Boulevard in suburban St. Louis won wire-to-wire in the voting for the Sorriest Bus Stop in America.

There was plenty of worthy competition, but something stood out about this stick in the ground next to what seems to be a divided highway. The only thing marking the stop is a single, lonely signpost -- no sidewalk, no bench, and not much in the way of destinations.

The stop is actually an important connection point, as a spokesperson from St. Louis Metro Transit explained in the comments (we confirmed that it was in fact Metro):

The stop is on Lindbergh, a major north-south artery. The speed limit is 40 MPH in that section (it is not a freeway.) The overpass you see in the photo is Page Avenue, a major east-west artery. Vehicles use exit ramps to make the connection between the two streets, but there is no safe way for pedestrians to cross between Page and Lindbergh. So, the Page bus leaves Page Avenue, drops people off at that bus stop who need to transfer to the Lindbergh bus, and then returns to Page. It looks odd, but serves an important purpose.

Metro spokesperson Patti Beck added: "We do need to help our customers get to where they need to go and there is no pedestrian infrastructure along those two major roads." She said the agency tries to work with municipalities in its service area to ensure there is proper pedestrian infrastructure when possible.

Indeed, the lion's share of the blame doesn't lie with Metro, but with the public officials and agencies who have created such a far-flung, high-speed street network. Transit, walking, and amenities for bus passengers are afterthoughts.

The runner-up in the competition, with 221 votes, was this horror in Cleveland -- which, by the way, actually is on a limited access highway. (The bus stop is marked only by a very tiny circle under the Interstate 71 sign.) This bus stop serves Cleveland Hopkins International Airport:

This Cleveland bus stop unloads on a limited access highway near the airport. Image: Tim Kovach
This Cleveland bus stop picks up and drops off passengers on a limited access highway near the airport. Image: Tim Kovach
This Cleveland bus stop unloads on a limited access highway near the airport. Image: Tim Kovach

One commenter who identified as a long-time transit planner explained how these types of debacles happen:

Sometimes you find yourself in a situation where there is no good location for a bus stop. You then have to decide whether no stop is better than a bad stop. Local residents often advocate for the latter, as without a stop they're stuck. Many jurisdictions don't want to spend the money needed for even minimal physical improvements, figuring that's "the bus system's problem." Transit systems, on the other hand, don't want to set a precedent for making street improvements all over town. It's a difficult situation, made worse by the reluctance of both governments and local residents to compromise auto speed for pedestrian safety.

All of our contenders bore witness to a transportation system where no expense is spared to save highway commuters a few moments, but basic amenities for transit are seen as optional. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Correction 2/17/15 8:29 a.m.: The caption originally reported the offending bus stop was in the suburb of Lindbergh. It is on Lindbergh Boulevard in Maryland Heights. 

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Talking Headways Podcast: Streets for Skateboards

Aaron Breetwor on skateboards for transportation and designing streets for safer skateboarding.

February 29, 2024

Agencies Need to Use Federal Funding to Buy Land for Transit Oriented Development

Transit agencies do not prioritize transit-adjacent housing development often because they lack funding to acquire land.

February 29, 2024

On Eve of Congestion Pricing, Plate Scams at NYC Bridge Tolls are Way Up

About 1.5 percent of the cars that passed through the MTA's bridges and tunnels in 2023 had unbillable license plates. And that number is up.

February 29, 2024

Thursday’s Headlines Walk on By

Giving more space to walking and biking is one of the keys to reversing climate change, a new study finds.

February 29, 2024

How the Next Generation of Mobility Justice Leaders Are Fighting For Transportation Equity

... and what they wish other transportation advocates knew about their work.

February 28, 2024
See all posts