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Kansas City Shows How to Upgrade a Very Sorry Bus Stop

This contender in last year’s Sorriest Bus Stop tournament (left) is looking a lot more dignified now. After Photo: TransitKC.com via Twitter

We're taking a break from our annual tour of hellacious bus stops to share some good news.

In last year's Sorriest Bus Stop tournament, the runner up was a forlorn patch of grass on the side of a highway outside Kaufmann Stadium, where the Kansas City Royals play. There were no sidewalks, no crosswalk, and not even a sign to indicate it was a bus stop.

But not anymore -- the bus stop got an "extreme makeover," reports Fox 4:

The new stop is about 500 feet north of the old location. It includes shelter, a bench, a paved platform and a sidewalk to and from the stop.

The Jackson County Sports Complex Authority and the KCATA teamed up for the change. Now they're celebrating ahead of Wednesday Royals game with a special tailgate.

This isn't rocket science, but it does require some attention to how people use transit. If you've got sidewalks and crosswalks that follow the paths people take to and from the bus, a bench to sit on, and some shelter, that's a pretty good bus stop. Here a few shots of the new bus stop and its features, including a schedule and some signage to help pedestrians find the safest path (once they get past that highway).

KC bus stop collage_181

The collaboration between the transit agency and the sports authority is important. The Jackson County Sports Complex Authority has probably poured tens of millions of dollars into parking facilities. Providing basic infrastructure for people who don't drive is not only the right thing to do, it could also end up saving the authority money on parking costs.

The missing piece here is Missouri DOT, which apparently was not involved in making the pedestrian crossings safer. Many of the sorry bus stops we shame on Streetsblog are on state roads, where state DOTs bear most of the blame for terrible pedestrian conditions. It's great that KCATA stepped up here, but without help from state DOTs, transit agencies can't solve the problem of dangerous walking connections to the bus.

More recommended reading today: Bikemore reports that Baltimore is taking its bike-share system offline for a short time while it responds to problems with theft, vandalism, and rebalancing. And Greater Greater Washington considers the bureaucratic barriers to programming street space for anything other than cars.

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