Sorry Bus Stops: Salt Lake City vs. McKees Rocks

SLC vs. McKees Rocks

Variety is the spice of Streetsblog’s Sorriest Bus Stop in America tournament, and today’s first round match introduces two bus stops that are each sorry in their own unique way.

So far, bus stops in Nashville, Cincinnati, and Beverly Hills are through to the second round. Voting is open until midnight for yesterday’s matchup pairing Pittsburgh against Revere, Massachusetts.

Now meet the contenders in today’s competition.

Salt Lake City

Salt lake City bus stop

You may be wondering what’s so bad about this bus stop in Taylorsville, Utah, outside Salt Lake City. But there’s a good reason two people independently nominated it for this competition.

At first, this “appears to be a splendid example of a bus stop done right,” in the words of nominator Mike Christensen. “It sits upon a concrete pad with a shelter, bench, and even a trash can.”

But actually it’s terrible. The nearest crosswalk is 1,100 feet away, and what makes that really galling is what’s right across the street, Christensen says:

This bus stop lies along a five-lane wide stroad, where drivers typically speed along at 50 mph or more. The reason why the bus stop has undergone extensive improvements lies in the simple fact that it sits across the street from the headquarters of the Utah Department of Transportation.

Walking to Utah DOT headquarters from this stop using a marked crosswalk would require a 10-minute detour along a highway with no sidewalks. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who deserves the blame for sorry bus stops, but in this case it could not be clearer — Utah DOT.

McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania

mckees Rocks bus stop

This stop in McKees Rocks, outside Pittsburgh, offers bus riders nothing. No sidewalks. No shelter. Nowhere to sit. No trash can. And the turning radius at this street corner is so generous, it practically begs drivers to race through.

But the cherry on top is that “no pedestrians” sign which seems to be saying that bus riders aren’t allowed at this bus stop. Thanks to reader Sarah Quinn for flagging this blatant but fitting sign of disrespect.

This stop is served by the Port Authority of Allegheny County, but in this case it’s the engineers in charge of streets for the borough of McKees Rocks who shoulder the blame.


13 thoughts on Sorry Bus Stops: Salt Lake City vs. McKees Rocks

  1. ^Agreed. The image used in this article is a misrepresentation of McKees Rocks bus stop. There’s a full concrete pad and shelter just 30′ down the road. It’s still pretty sorry, but not as bad as that screenshot makes it look.

  2. But the two ads on this bus stop in the Google Maps street view are the best. Why are you waiting for a bus, go learn to drive at the driving school and buy a Chevy at the dealer!

  3. I guess it’s funny to you, but to riders, this is not funny. Transit agencies will simply get rid of the bus stop and voila, problem not solved. Shaming transit agencies is not the answer. Most times, it’s the city or state that refuses to build sidewalks even to bus stops. Most all these are examples of this, and by humiliating a transit agency and not mentioning the city or state being responsible for a lack of sidewalk, you’re doing ZERO good for the bus riders, for the transit agency, for everyone. Even worse, when transit agencies try to avoid this humiliation by simply getting rid of the stop, disabled, senior, and children will be forced to walk even further along treacherous roads without sidewalks to get to a stop that does have a sidewalk or a better looking stop. Maybe a few of them might get run over and injured and killed in the process, but you won’t really care about that so long as you get a few laughs in.

  4. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who deserves the blame for sorry bus stops, but in this case it could not be clearer — Utah DOT.

    This stop is served by the Port Authority of Allegheny County, but in this case it’s the engineers in charge of streets for the borough of McKees Rocks who shoulder the blame.

    I guess reading is too hard. The whole purpose of this is to bring attention to the lack of safety and the fact that bus riders are often just an afterthought. Who said any of this was “funny”?

  5. Why do editors have such difficulty with being accurate/consistent? The McKees Rocks example is clearly identified as being in McKees Rocks, PA, with just a note in the narrative that it’s “outside Pittsburgh”. Even though McKees Rocks is a tiny borough of 6,000 people. However, the other example is labeled as “Salt Lake City” in the headline, heading and in the bracket, despite being located in Taylorsville, UT – a city of over 60,000 people. That’s right, Taylorsville is ten times the size of McKees Rocks. Taylorsville is about a third (30%) of the size of Salt Lake City, while McKees Rocks is only about 2% of the size of Pittsburgh – yet Taylorsville has to defer to Salt Lake City, while McKees Rocks gets to stand on its own. What gives?

  6. Ha – of course. Yep, no question about it, it’s in Kennedy Township – a mile or so outside of McKees Rocks. However, the USPS assigns the place name “McKees Rocks” and only “McKees Rocks” to the ZIP code covering the area – so just because “McKees Rocks” appears in the address, the assumption is made that the address is actually IN the Borough of McKees Rocks. Not so.

    This just goes to show – because the USPS hardly adheres to municipal boundaries when it assigns place names to ZIP codes, every address is suspect and needs to be fact-checked.

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