The Sorriest Bus Stop Championship: Seattle vs. Munhall
For America’s sorry bus stops, it’s time for the World Series, the NBA Finals, and the Super Bowl rolled into one. Your votes have culled our field of 16 terrible transit waiting environments from around the nation down to a final pair.
These two stops, one in Seattle and the other Munhall, Pennsylvania (just outside Pittsburgh), share one very specific thing in common: Both put people waiting for the bus between a high-speed roadway and active railroad tracks. What makes one worse for bus riders than the other?
Take in these sorry bus stops one last time and vote below. The polls are open until Thursday at midnight.
This image has carried Seattle through the competition, beating bus stops in Fremont, San Diego, and Chapel Hill. Nominated by Alexander Lew, it is indeed an apt embodiment of the low status assigned to people who walk and ride the bus in America’s transportation hierarchy.
Passengers ride the bus to a small community college across the street from this stop or to one of the industrial jobs in this area that’s not too far from downtown Seattle.
The one consolation for people who wait here, readers inform us, is that trains move through the area at a slow pace.
Responsible agencies: Washington DOT, King County Metro.
This stop just outside Pittsburgh was nominated by Peter Norton, the author of “Fighting Traffic,” a book about the early history of the automotive lobby and how it reshaped U.S. cities. Its path to the championship round went through bus stops in Indianapolis, Omaha, and Englewood, New Jersey.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette asked the Port Authority of Allegheny County, the local transit operator, about this bus stop, and the agency got defensive.
“The break in the guide rail gives customers a place to wait off of the street for buses heading inbound,” agency spokesman Jim Ritchey told the paper. How luxurious.
Don’t leave out the city of Munhall when assigning blame here. The public works department could improve pedestrian access to this location, which sorely lacks basic safety measures. One commenter told us that she was struck by a driver at this bus stop, which she and her husband use to get to medical appointments.
Agencies responsible: Port Authority of Allegheny County, Borough of Munhall Public Works.