SORRIEST BUS STOPS 2021: Albuquerque vs. Staten Island
Editor’s Note: This is the final Elite Eight matchup in our Sorriest Bus Stop contest. In our previous bouts, Québec City absolutely stomped Queens, and Narberth just eked past Pittsburgh to set up quite a battle in the regional finals. Polls are still open in the thisclose battle of Chicago vs. Orinda, so please vote in that competition — and don’t forget to scroll to the bottom to weigh in on today’s battle.
Both of the contenders in our final Elite Eight match-up are a little frightening — and not just because of all the drivers racing within inches of the stop.
Of course, waiting at most of the bus stops in this contest is a pretty scary experience. But these two Final Four hopefuls are distinct for another reason: they force their riders to contend with high-speed vehicle traffic and some additional hazards that are straight out of a horror movie.
Gird your loins; it’s time to vote.
Albuquerque’s Cliffside Calamity
Duke City decimated Denver in the first round, thanks to an ultra-high bus stop that put even the Mile High City to shame.
Unlike some of the contenders in this contest, the Cliffside Calamity is actually a pretty popular route; the 157 line is one of the few in the city that crosses the Rio Grande, and it connects much of the city’s major job centers to the east with its major housing centers to the west. Nominator Dan says that the route actually terminates at the Kirtland Air Force Base, one of the largest employers in the region, in addition to connecting the two largest shopping districts in the region.
Thanks to gravity and a too-short guardrail, riders who get off at this stop may have a very short trip to the Costco down the hill…if they’re okay with breaking a few bones along the way.
Seriously, check out the drop-off on this sucker; yes, the top of this mini-mountain is just about level with the big-box story below.
But there’s another reason why this sorry stop is due for an upgrade: because the giant highway just 0.2 miles away is slated for a rebuild, too. And while there doesn’t seem to be a big push to remove I-25 from the region altogether, there’s a good case to be made for at least better protecting the users of other modes near its many downtown on- and off-ramps.
“The last time I saw the plans [for the rebuild], they were pretty terrible,” Dan said. “However, it sounds like they’re looking for more funding for bike/ped improvements so I’m cautiously optimistic. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve safety and access in this area.”
That should be doubly important considering that this stop is less than a mile as the crow flies from one of the city’s most popular bike trails — though Dan notes that “getting between the two at the moment is anything but safe and comfortable.” Here’s hoping this sorry stop and all the streets around it get a safer redesign in the coming years.
The Staten Island Murder Shed
If Albuquerque’s entry has you craving a re-watch of The Hills Have Eyes, check out this hair-raising stop:
Don’t see it? Look a little closer….
In the first round, this Staten Island stunner stomped its rival in Homeland, Calif., thanks in large part to that creepy shed behind the stop which fails to offer riders any real shelter from the elements and makes waiting there uncomfortable for anyone worried about strangers lurking in its shadows. (For additional nightmare-points, it’s also located within spitting distance of an abandoned tuberculosis hospital, which has, shockingly, not been used as a set for American Horror Story … yet.) It also doesn’t have a sidewalk leading up to the stop, and locals say that 25 mile per hour sign + speed camera combo doesn’t always deter fast drivers, because the road really needs a re-design.
But we can think of something even more ghastly than Ghostface lurking around your bus stop — and that’s horrifyingly long headways.
According to the Bus Turnaround coalition, a New York advocacy group, both of the routes that serve this stop — S54 and S57 — are late at least 35 percent of the time, and the lines overall garnered a C rating.
The local paper, the Staten Island Advance, is supporting this stop’s bid for the finals, and says it’s “poised to make a run for the not-so-esteemed title of worst waiting are in the country.” Let’s see if Streetsbloggers agree.
Okay, ghosties: which spine-tingling stop deserves a place in the Frightful Four? Polls are open until Wednesday, April 7 at 4 p.m. Eastern time.
Here’s the bracket if you’re following along at home.