SORRIEST BUS STOPS QUARTERFINALS: Queens vs. Québec City

Quebec vs. Queens

We’re continuing on our quest to find which questionable bust stop qualifies for the title of worst in North America, starting with the battle of Queens vs. Québec City.

That’s right, sports fans: it’s time for an alphabetically serendipitous Elite Eight match up!

In the first round, both Queens and Québec City won their respective bouts in a landslide. Let’s see which one’s lousy enough to make it to the Final Four.

(And, by the way, this matchup is going to be internationally watched — last week, Le Journal de Québec (which, we gather is some sort of paper; our French is rusty) reported on Québec’s triumph over Philadelphia. Keep that in mind when you vote — you’re not just picking a sorry bus stop … you’re participating in a global movement!)

Queens’s Highway Gore Disgrace

This outer-borough baddie absolutely walloped the competition in the Subpar 16 with 92 percent of the vote for a lot of reasons, but it’s a standout in one key respect: it’s the only contender in this competition that doesn’t even have a sign.

Insert-bus-stop-here_-3

In the first round, nominator Eric painted a pretty good picture of why so few people even attempt to use this stop, which in addition to being functionally invisible, is also located between a three-lane, highway-style road and a legit highway entrance. When we let him know his stop had won the day, he shared some ideas for how it could be improved:

“The speed limit is signed for 30, but I doubt any of the cars/trucks are going at that speed.  Installing a painted pedestrian crossing without proper signage or traffic control devices could possibly create a false sense of safety.  Without having done any traffic study, the pedestrian crossing volumes here would likely not warrant a traffic signal — unless the city DOT uses better judgment. Perhaps an initial solution could be a painted pedestrian crossing combined with Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons … but to my knowledge NYC DOT does not use these – but I have seen it used in other parts of New York State.  And Northern Blvd is technically a state highway!!! Oh yeah, and they should definitely install a concrete sidewalk to/from the bus stop, and pave the damn stop!”

We might add: they should definitely add a damn sign.

This stop is served by the Q66, which is operated by the MTA’s New York City Transit Bus division, in case you’d like to let them know that they’re in the running for the title of sorriest stop in America. And while Eric notes that the passengers on this stop are “most likely workers at the nearby industrial/manufacturing businesses” rather than sports fans headed to a Mets game at nearby Citifield (as some Streetsbloggers have speculated), those riders still deserve a proper stop.

Québec’s Car Dealership Catastrophe

Our only non-U.S. stop in the competition also ran away with the vote during the Substandard 16, besting Philadelphia with 84 percent of the vote.

We’re willing to bet the maniacally grinning skydancer had a little something to do with it.

Quebec City 1

And this one was actually a terrible twofer: the westbound stop is arguably even worse.

Nominator's wife, photographed with permission.
Nominator’s wife, photographed with permission

The Québequois who submitted these stunners notes that the route they’re on, the dix-huit line, moved as many as 1,400 users per day in 2019 and connects Lower Town’s up-and-coming Saint-Roch and Saint-Sauveur neighborhoods with Laval University in suburban Sainte-Foy, about 5 miles away.

Hoffman says not many of those folks are actually getting off in the “industrial nether world” adjacent to this particular waiting area, but that could change as the corridor becomes a multimodal magnet:

“The local bike community had pushed for years to get a bike lane along this road, and they finally did a couple of years ago. The plans for Québec City’s streetcar system originally called for a lift (not an elevator, but some sort of ski-lift-type thing) right near this stop which would have gone up to the Cégep (Québec’s version of a community college, kind of) at the top of the hill. It would have made this stop extremely useful, but the lift idea was scrapped a couple of months ago for budgetary reasons, unfortunately.”

We’d support a petition to get these guys a sweet gondola … or at least a shelter and a bench.

This sorry stop has some strong local support, too; the local newspaper‘s story boosting Québec’s bid in the contest to find “l’arrêt d’autobus le plus désolant.” (Wow, it sounds so much more harsh in French!) According to Martin Lavoie’s story, RTCQuebec, the agency that operates the stop, “will take advantage of the review of its network to review the development of this sector with all the stakeholders involved.” (That sounded better in the original…we blame Google Translate.)

Here’s hoping they will — and if advancing to the Final Four gives them the wake-up call they need to get moving, all the better.

So which stop deserves to queue up for its next battle? Polls are open until Friday, April 2 at 4 p.m. EST. 

Which sorry stop is sorry enough for a place in the Final Four?

View Results

Here’s the bracket so far, if you’re playing along at home.

SBS2021 (11)

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