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SORRIEST BUS STOPS 2021: Albuquerque vs. Denver

12:05 AM EDT on March 25, 2021

This is the seventh first-round matchup in the Sweet 16 round of our annual Sorriest Bus Stop contest (voting continues through Friday at 4 p.m. Eastern). In our previous first-round bouts, Narberth demolished Trenton, Quebec City advanced to the Abominable Eight with a complete destruction of Philadelphia and Queens devastated Lynchburg.Pittsburgh bested Littleton, and the Windy City prevailed in the battle of Chicago vs. Waltham. Polls are still open for the Boise vs. Orinda match-up; you can follow the full bracket at the bottom of the post.

By this point in the Sorriest Bus Stop contest, you're probably familiar with the most common indignities that America's riders are forced to face while they wait: speeding drivers, pelting rain, unkempt weeds, and not a curb-cut in sight.

But sometimes, bus stops hazards get a little more...unconventional.

Just for fun, today we're taking a look at two waiting areas where riders are forced to contend with some truly laughable dangers — but we're willing to bet there are even weirder safety concerns at bus stops across America.

Let's get into the wildcard round.

Albuquerque's Cliffside Calamity

This sorry stop might not look all that bad at a quick glance. At least they gave riders a sidewalk (albeit a narrow one)! Riders even get a pretty good view of the annual Balloon Fiesta from the top of the hill! (Side note: man, Streetview sure picked a great day to map the roads in Duke City.)

Albuquerque 1

But take a look at this stop from another angle, and it becomes pretty clear why it definitely deserves a spot in this contest.

Albuqurque 2

Yes, my friends, this stop backs up to a steeply sloped embankment that's covered in sharp, thistly plant life. As any New Mexican who's ever slipped into a patch of cacti or chamisa on a hike will tell you, that stuff hurts when you fall into it. And that short little guardrail might not be much help if you get knocked over by the backdraft of a big truck speeding down this three-lane, 45 mile-per-hour road — especially if you're a person who struggles with vertigo. (Of course, there's no room for a bench.)

Here's one more angle to give you a better sense of just how steep that embankment really is; the top of this hill is roughly level with the roof of the Costco immediately below it.

Screen Shot 2021-03-24 at 11.17.00 AM

Nominator Dan notes that this stop serves a popular and frequent route and is located right next to a quickly growing commercial area. "However, I can't imagine waiting or even getting off the bus here and feeling any sort of comfort," he adds.

Dan thinks this sorry stop would work a lot better if it were moved to the east side of the closest intersection, which would give planners room for a shelter and a bench (not to mention getting the stop off the side of a literal cliff. We agree, and we think bus passengers in Burque deserve better.

Denver's Fairway Failure

Bus riders in wintery climates probably expect to encounter a little snow and rain now and then — which is why it's so important that we give them shelters. But they probably don't expect to get beamed in the head by a golf ball.

But that's exactly what could easily happen at this stop in the Mile High City.

Denver 1

Located in the popular Regis neighborhood of Denver, this sorry stop is sandwiched between a golf course and a four-lane road with no sidewalk that's signed for 35 miles per hour but actually sees even faster speeds. While nominator Ted notes that dealing with "errant tee shots" is undignified enough, this stop adds insult to injury by requiring riders to walk a solid 500 feet to reach the nearest crosswalk.

And guess what's located at that crosswalk: another bus stop serving the exact same route! We're all for giving riders as many stop options as possible, but come on; don't the riders at 49th and Sheridan deserve some zebra stripes just as much as the riders at 48th? (And while they're at it, both of these intersections could use some attention; the crosswalk at 49th was the site of a crash that seriously injured a pedestrian just last year.)

One thing's for sure: this stop is definitely...sub-par. (We'll just see ourselves out.)

It's time to vote: would you rather grapple with gravity in Albuquerque, or dodge duffs in Denver? Polls are open until Friday, March 26 at 4pm EST.

[poll id="179"]

Here's the bracket if you're playing along at home.

SBS2021 (10)

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