Letter: Gimme shelter (at Bay View Art Stop)
June 1, 2012
I read with no small degree of interest, no small degree of amusement, and ultimately no small degree of irritation both the Compass’ recent article, “Stop Bay View Art Stop, Some Say,” the comments posted on line in response. I posted a few comments myself, but for those with less patience, fortitude, or free time than I have for such things, allow me to share my two cents’ worth.
For all the discussion about the bus stop project, such as it was, of procedure, politics, and occasionally aesthetics, there was precious little about function, not to mention functionality of the bus stop. What was mostly ignored and/or forgotten is that the so-called “Art Stop” should first and foremost be a bus shelter.
A previous Compass article, “Bus Shelter Vanguard—Neighborhood Brand and Identity,” which included the bus shelter on Brady Street at Holton Avenue, failed to point out that when one is sitting in that shelter [which faces Brady but is set back from the sidewalk], it is impossible to actually see approaching buses and thus, for bus drivers to see riders sitting in the shelter. I’ve been passed by more than once in that bus shelter when I was inside it to avoid rain or snow or sun or wind or cold, or when I was simply sitting and waiting.
I would hope that sightlines will be taken into consideration for the future Art Stop, but I can’t say I’m encouraged by the illustrations I’ve seen, not to mention my understanding that actual riders weren’t consulted by anyone involved. Unfortunately, I did not attend the April 12 meeting on the matter, but, then again, from all accounts (e.g., the Compass’), it doesn’t seem that it would have done anyone much good.
I’m more concerned, however, that it’s been nigh unto a year since there’s been a shelter—at all—on the traffic island in question, where four separate routes headed in three different directions drop off/pick up passengers.
I’m hardly the only rider waiting for the bus there. Senior citizens; children—some accompanied by adults, some who are not; at least one regular rider who uses a motorized wheelchair; and riders who use a walker or cane, (this includes me) wait at this bus stop at all hours, and we are standing in whatever the weather dumps on us. Bay View is underserved by bus shelters as it is, so why not restore, at least temporarily, what was formerly the neighborhood’s most used and most appreciated shelter?
I’m currently happy simply not to be rained on anymore, and to have some shade on sunny days. But there are sightline problems with the shelter: I actually can’t sit and watch for a couple-three of the buses I take, not comfortably, at any rate. The current (presumably) temporary shelter on the island would have been better placed along KK, both in terms of sight lines, and in terms of benefit to those who most use it. Meanwhile, no matter what “art” is placed on the triangle, it is more than likely going to cause some problems for those who actually use the bus stop.
Now, if only they’d let non-drivers like me design freeway interchanges.
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