Friday, March 29, 2013

Million Dollar Bus Stops

What I totally don't miss about the old 'hood in Arlington, Virginia.  In front of the Rite-Aid no less.

And it doesn't even keep you warm and dry.  The folks responsible are running the country -- it can happen only inside the Beltway.

The following was posted on my old community listserv,

I have had the experience of standing at the SuperStop every workday since it opened. I am not in the all-spending-is-bad camp, but it would be gratifying for the County to respond to my frequent requests to explain the cost and why its completion ran 16 months beyond the original estimate.  However, this structure has some serious problems that need to be corrected before another is built.

The roof does not shelter people well from the elements. Rain, with a little bit of wind, wets nearly the entire covered area. Today, it appeared that the roof seams were leaking because there were small puddles on the seats about the same distance apart as the roof seams.

The structure does not provide any protection from the wind. Its open design and angles allows wind thru every part. The windy day last week was much more uncomfortable than in the structure this replaced.

The Next Bus display board has been wrong the majority of the 7 days I've used the stop. I understand this is a function of the data feed to Next Bus, which has been having problems described in the media recently.
Nevertheless, a nice big display board doesn't help folks if it's wrong.

The seats are stainless steel slabs - very cold and uncomfortable to sit on, especially in the colder months. I can only imagine what they are like in the direct sun in summer months. I've heard speculation that they were designed to dissuade homeless people from sleeping there. If so, I would recommend instead that the operative design principle be for people to use the seats, rather than for people not to use them.

IMHO, the design seems to be Modernist-Ugly. The look is distinctive, but not at all appealing.

I would sure like to know who designed this, why it was felt to be superior to other designs, and what was wrong with stops having 3 walls and a roof that seem to be so popular because they are effective.

Enough said.

4/2 Update:  CNN reports here.

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