It’s KC vs. Silver Spring in the Final Round of America’s Sorriest Bus Stop
This is it, folks — the championship round of Streetsblog’s Sorriest Bus Stop tournament.
Each of the 16 bus stops that competed this year — and the agencies who oversee them — deserved a thorough shaming. No transit rider should ever have to wait in the rain for a bus with no posted schedule, or walk in a ditch along an eight-lane highway after disembarking. These conditions are deplorable but all too common in American cities.
The two bus stops facing off today — in Kansas City and Silver Spring, Maryland — had some extra dreadful quality that sets them apart in the eyes of our voters.
This baseball stadium bus stop bested sad stops in DC, St. Louis County, and Broomfield, Colorado, en route to the final round. It sits on the Blue Ridge Cut Off near Kauffman Stadium, where the Royals play. Not only does it lack shelter, but you can’t even tell it’s a bus stop.
Submitter Brian Curran says:
On top of being next to what’s effectively a highway, the stop is very poorly lit and next to impossible to find after a game (or for any other reason, with the lack of a sign). The nearest crosswalk is up at East Red Coat Drive. Coming to a game on the bus in the other direction, police had to stop traffic so my family could cross the 4+ lanes of cars, and then we had to walk across a giant parking lot and a few grassy areas to get to the stadium.
After Silver Spring’s entry reached the Final Four, the Washington Post launched an investigation. WaPo reporter Luz Lazo determined that the stop is used by about 13 people per day. One person who lives nearby left a comment calling the stop terrifying. Maybe more people would catch the bus here if it were safe to access and a comfortable place to wait, she said:
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.
When Lazo reached out to the Maryland State Highway Administration, Montgomery County, and DC Metro about how public agencies let such dangerous conditions persist at a bus stop, no one claimed responsibility.
But Montgomery County spokeswoman Esther Bowring did point out that the stop is ADA accessible — which makes sense, if you are lowered down from space.
So here we are at the final vote. Which is the sorriest bus stop of 2016?
Here’s the map of all the contestants:
And here is the nearly-complete bracket: