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Unable To Use All MetroBus Stops

February 9, 2013 Featured, Parking, Public Transit 16 Comments

I have no problems using most of Metro’s bus stops using my power chair, bus there are exceptions that I can’t.

ABOVE: MetroBus stop on the north side of Market Street between 14th-15th, across from the Peabody Opera House
ABOVE: MetroBus stop on the north side of Market Street between 14th-15th, across from the Peabody Opera House. Taken Thursday January 31, 2013 @ 1:00pm.

I’m a huge fan of on-street parking, the fixed cars provide a nice buffer between pedestrians and moving vehicles. Unfortunately, this buffer becomes a barrier to anyone that can’t just step out into the street when the bus comes.

I’m thinking most days vehicles aren’t parked here and I’d have no problem using this stop. If so, that means an entire lane sits empty except for when a bus has to use it to pickup or drop off a passenger. But when cars are here the stop is useless to disabled riders. The solution?

Allow on-street parking, set up meters and generate revenue. In the space that would have one car build out the sidewalk so disabled riders, seniors and others can reach the bus stopped briefly in the travel lane.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "16 comments" on this Article:

  1. moe says:

    You are assuming that bus stops are static. Many are fluid and the costs of these bumpouts would be prohibitive over time especially in these times of service fluctuations.

    • I’m assuming nothing, I know from talks with Metro those shelters cost $15,000+ to install. Those stops aren’t fluid at all.

      • moe says:

        From fluid, I mean from year to year. And yes they are fluid. Just ask the people that needed to get out to Chesterfield how fluid they are when the service was curtailed just the other year.
        And how much do you think a bump out costs? not only to install but to remove when no longer needed? Or did it occur that with these bump out ramps people will use them as cross walks and add danger to the pedestrian? especially those in chairs.

        • Bus shelter locations are measured in decades, not years, The bumpouts aren’t cheap but they improve the pedestrian experience and keep motorists from accidentally parking where they shouldn’t.

          • JZ71 says:

            Motorists rarely “accidentally park where they shouldn’t”, they park where they can and, in areas with restrictions, where they think that they are either in compliance or where they think they “can get away with” violating the regulations and not get caught. Bumpouts go a long way in solving the “where they can” part of the equation, while vigorous and consistent enforcement addresses the “can get away with” part. Both are valid “answers”, the problem in St. Louis is that neither is used very much!

            People park in bus stops (and in front of fire hydrants, too close to stop signs and blocking crosswalks) because the chance of getting any sort of ticket is slim to none, and the chances of getting booted or towed is even less! Unless you’re going to ban all on-street parking, and until you’re going to invest in the type of infrastructure that recently went in on South Grand, we’re “stuck” with our existing streets, curbs and sidewalks (or lack thereof) on the vast majority of our bus routes. The city has limited resources to spend on pouring concrete. Over the next decades, the city can focus on installing curb ramps at intersections, fixing broken sidewalks, installing sidewalks where none exist, installing connections between the curb and sidewalk at bus stops where the sidewalk is separated from the street by a tree lawn OR the city can focus on building bumpouts to keep a few inconsiderate asshats from parking where they shouldn’t! My priorities are to focus on fixing the missing links (the most bang for the buck) and enforcing the rules that are already in place . . . .

  2. JZ71 says:

    Just enforce the existing laws!

    “17.24.070 Prohibited parking.

    Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or in compliance with law or the direction of a police officer or official traffic-control device, no person shall park a vehicle:

    K. In a bus zone, except while actually engaged in unloading passengers or picking up waiting passengers;”

    Ticket (and tow?) a few cars and people might start to get the message without spending money we don’t have!

    • Enforcement takes money, bump outs are good design that help pedestrians and motorists.

      • moe says:

        Bump outs cost money ….Period! Yeah, they’ll help pedestrians just cross whenever they want then blame the motorist for hitting them. You’ve ignored my other points but they are opposing views so I get it.

        • Sorry, cost isn’t an excuse for violating the civil rights of those of us that use wheelchairs. You know what else costs? Enforcement of the current street design and an ADA lawsuit. I figure it’s better to allow use of the bus stop and provide needed parking than enforce the no parking.

        • Fozzie says:

          Bump outs also collect plowed snow. Nobody wins.

      • JZ71 says:

        I agree, “bump outs are good design”. However, enforcement generates more in revenue than it costs to put enforcement people out on the streets, so the “duh” answer, at least short term, to your current problem, is to get the cars away from the existing curb and bus stop. Yes, we should expect the city (or Metro) to make every bus stop perfect, but both you and I know that that’s going to take years – in searching for perfection, let’s not ignore the simple answers!

  3. GMichaud says:

    They used concrete planters on Grand Ave before the bump outs were installed. It would to be easy to experiment with a few ideas at any location cheaply using those large planters.

    I would say however in the scheme of things the operation of the the buses should be a priority in street design, not only for ease of use for the disabled and seniors, but also for the efficiency of the system.

    Cars are fluid and flexible, much more so than any bus or bus stop.

  4. RyleyinSTL says:

    Do Metro Bus drivers report bus stop parking violations? They should. I’d assume towing would follow quickly in that case. Anyone parking in a bus stop is knowingly violating the law and knowingly being rude, obtuse and unkind. STL is not the only city with such laws.

  5. backprop says:

    Steve, this is tangentially related to the topic of bus stops and accessibility and I think perhaps you would know the answer.

    During public hearings for the Shrewsbury Wal-mart development in Kenrick Plaza, a question was raised as to whether there would be a sidewalk leading from Watson (and the bus stop) into the development. The overhead plans, like those at Loughborough Commons, showed only a sidewalk along Watson.

    The developer eventually said that there would be, but we later learned that they probably aren’t going to put one in. They claim that the ADA would prohibit a sidewalk there because it wouldn’t be accessible by both able-bodied people and those using wheelchairs/scooters.

    Is this a valid excuse? It seems like no sidewalk is worse than a sidewalk that might be less than ideal. But I can’t find a practical explanation of that law.

    In either case, the developer says there will be pedestrian access, but every indication points to that being false.

  6. No, the solution is for the City to post unique, noticeable “No Parking” signage that informs drivers this space is reserved for bus pick-ups/drop-offs, and then enforce those laws unwaveringly.

    If the City doesn’t respect and encourage its transit system and the citizens who use it, we can’t expect the “driving is a right” crowd to either.


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