Bus Shelters: The Sequel

This morning’s story on Westport’s (lack of) bus shelters should have noted some of the people who have pushed the issue to the forefront.

Westport Planning & Zoning Commission alternate Neil Cohn started the Economic Growth Subcommittee, and reached out to 3rd Selectwoman Melissa Kane. As subcommittee chair, he made this a P&Z-sponsored text amendment. 

The initiative is part of the P&Z’s broader approach of looking at many types of equity.

Pippa Bell Ader and Jennifer Johnson have worked on the issue for a long time too.

In addition, P&Z chair Danielle Dobin made an important comment at last night’s meeting. She noted that women waiting on the side of the road, waiting to wave down buses after a long day at work, face an additional hazard besides bad weather and safety.

Too often, men driving by honk, yell out crude invitations and remark on their bodies.

“It’s terrible. But we can do something about it,” Dobin said. “Shelters don’t just protect against wind and rain. They also reduce street harassment.

This is not a Westport bus shelter. It’s located at Lexington, Kentucky. There, says former Westporter Fran Taylor, the city initiated an art/design competition, called Art In Motion..Clever and beautiful bus shelters emerged, including solar panels. Lexington used federal funds as seed money.

16 responses to “Bus Shelters: The Sequel

  1. I know it has been an uphill battle but I am heartened that this bus shelter initiative is gaining momentum. It is a huge quality of life enhancement for our bus commuters, and I am in complete agreement that it will lessen street harassment of female bus riders. Many thanks to all the local electeds who have pushed it forward. Let’s make it happen!

  2. Thanks to all those that worked on this initiative. It’s a shame that after a full day of work, women get harassed while waiting for a bus home. My guess it is likely these misogynists calling out to them from the safety of their vehicles are married and heading home to their poor wives. I wonder if they have daughters?

  3. Mercedes Escala

    Kudos to the team that’s behind this initiative and that is sharing openly the many benefits of this initiative. It will be a significant enhancement to their quality of life and personal security for sure. Looking forward to seeing them in town.

  4. Great initiative and I love the caption to the photo

  5. In the Netherlands they are building bus stops with gardens on top to help the bee population. I think these stops can be a lot of fun and be creative too.
    https://ecopandas.com/dutch-bee-stops/

  6. Luisa Francoeur

    The feature that makes real sense is solar panels which could provide lighting at night for safety.

  7. Here are some guidelines and references from Project for Public Spaces on bus shelter design and development:

    https://www.pps.org/article/busshelters
    https://www.pps.org/category/streets-transportation

  8. The Town of Westport attempted to provide bus shelters during the Farrell administration. Cost was one of several issues that stoped the initiativ at that time. I hope this time town boards can co- operate and get this long overdue project completed.

  9. Thanks to all who have worked to keep this issue alive over the years. In addition to all those you mentioned, I would also thank Sal Liccione, who in addition to being a long time champion of public transit and its ridership, is currently a member of Westport’s RTM and its Transit committee, where he continues his advocacy.

  10. As a regular rider of the Coastal Link bus, IMHO this is a racist issue. Fairfield has clearly marked bus stop signs up and down the Post Road and Fairfield Avenue, while Westport has none. There is one bus shelter outside Stop and Shop and one bench on the Post Road at Main Street. You Westporters don’t want to see the Black folk that run your businesses standing and waiting for the buses. Shame on all of you.

    • Danielle Dobin

      Dave – I wasn’t involved in town government when the idea of bus shelters was last raised but at the meeting yesterday, Harold Bailey stated “Bus shelter support is a portal into the issue of who belongs in Westport. That is an issue upon which TEAM Westport is squarely focused. Citizens, workers and visitors use bus transportation, and deserve protection from the elements when waiting for a bus. Addressing this issue not only enhances the experiences of those who live, work and visit Westport, but sends a clear signal that all three truly “belong” here.” As indicated by the remarks of the commissioners yesterday, the regulations WILL be changing and there will (finally) be bus shelters along the Post Road in Westport. We would love to have your input as a regular rider of the Coast Link as to the best locations to serve people’s needs.

      • Ok Danielle – all vitriol aside. Bus stop markers and/or shelters should be placed at: Post Road in front of Trader Joe’s, and across the street at Compo Square North. Post Road East at Imperial Avenue. Post Road East and West at Maple Avenue North and South. Post Road East at Post Square across from Newman’s Own HQ. Post Road West somewhere between Carvel and Sherwood Diner. These locations are where I personally observe the most riders boarding on and off

    • How the hell do you know that, Lowrie? Those black folks you say we don’t want to see waiting for the bus are waiting ANYHOW, you moron…how would shelters affect their need for bus rides other than to make all riders more comfortable as they wait for transportation…truly, you are an angry fool.

  11. This thread reminds me of the Minnybus and the rather elaborate semi-enclosed shelter that was built for riders at its Jesup Green hub. It immediately became a hangout for the “bad kids.” I can still hear my mother: “Stay away from there.”

  12. Donald Bergmann

    Bus Shelters have been an effort of the Downtown Plan Implementation Committee for years, with Third Selectperson, Melissa Kane, along with several others having worked on this matter. There have been many issues, most of which do not make a whole lot of sense, until examined and addressed. Westport has long wanted bus shelters. The difficulty has not been in the will to move ahead, rather the way to move ahead.
    Don Bergmann

  13. Susan Saracena

    Long overdue. All for it.

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