"SHA agrees this bus stop is in a less than desirable location. There is continuous sidewalk on the other side of U.S. 29 leading all the way down to the intersection at Southwood Drive [sic], therefore there is no compelling reason anyone should be crossing U.S. 29 in an attempt to use this mid-block bus stop."
|Looking across Route 29 towards Woodmoor from the bus stop. Despite the lack of a crosswalk and signal, people still use this stop. Photo by the author.|
It took me about 3:45 to walk from Crestmoor to Southwood, with a pause to cross Route 29 at Southwood. It's a loud, windy, uphill walk along a narrow sidewalk directly adjacent to fast-moving traffic.
Let's go back to roads for a moment. When a signalized intersection causes a motorist 80 seconds of delay or more (1 minute and 20 seconds), traffic engineers call that "Level of Service F" or "LOS F". When traffic engineers realize that an intersection is at LOS F, they start looking at ways to improve or remove the troubled intersection. A recent local example is the grade-separation of the Georgia Avenue & Randolph Road intersection, where the state is spending $77,324,000.00 so drivers won't have to deal with 80+ seconds of delay.
|The SHA operates most of the multi-lane arterial roads in Montgomery County. Photo by the author.|
In closing, I have three minor complaints about the spokesman's statement. These errors, while small and inconsequential on their own, represent how out-of-touch the SHA can be. This is nothing personal against him, since he's just a spokesman. Rather, this is a critique of the information he was given to share with the public:
- It's Southwood Avenue, not Southwood Drive. Had the SHA folks quickly checked Google Maps, they would have seen the proper name. If one is going to comment on a road that their agency operates, it's smart to know the correct names of the cross-streets, especially when it has a traffic signal. Getting this type of detail wrong hurts the SHA's credibility.
- He says "down to the intersection" when in fact, the intersection is uphill from Crestmoor. It is to the geographic south, so I'll give him a break on this one, but I would've preferred he say "up to the intersection" so that an uphill journey is implied.
- This is not a "mid-block bus stop". While the intersection of Crestmoor and Route 29 is unsignalized, it's still an intersection, and intersections divide blocks (although this stretch of road doesn't have "blocks" in the city sense of the word). A mid-block bus stop would be one that is not near any kind of cross-street.