For Transit Equity Day, held on February 4th, in recognition of Rosa Parks’ birthday, I thought I’d post photos from a couple bus stops here in La Crosse, which isn’t as bad as a lot of cities in the U.S. for transit (which isn’t saying much).
This isn’t a stop that I use, but I pass it on my way to the laundromat. The pictures of the tree and the bench on the sign recently caught my eye and made me think it would be really nice if the stop actually had a tree and a bench.
With the multiple widenings of the street for vehicle traffic by the state Department of Transportation, though, there isn’t much space left. At least not on the boulevard (or terrace, as the buffer zone is called in some places).
The street used to actually HAVE trees, as these photos from a project of the La Crosse Public Library Archives and History Department show. They’re taken on the same street, from a block and a half north (facing south, as are my photos).
The first shot (1970) actually looks like a nice street to walk along. The second one (2003) doesn’t look quite as nice, but doesn’t look as punitive (and dangerous) as this stretch is for pedestrians today.
The next photos are of a bus stop that I do use. It’s the closest one to where my husband and I buy groceries.
Again, it would be considerate to have an actual bench or a tree, or even a shelter, especially when the weather’s bad, but at least the street itself isn’t designed like a highway. It doesn’t feel as unwelcoming. It is kind of ironic how much shelter and shade, however, drivers are offered while doing their banking, though, behind the stop.
What a waste of space. But maybe it’s appropriate for a business that’s number two in funding fossil fuel projects around the world according to a “fossil fuel finance report card,” put together by a group of environmental organizations.