I’ll admit I don’t take the bus very much.
I have debilitating motion sickness. I can’t even snap my head from side to side quickly without getting nauseous. The constant stopping, starting, and general rocking back and forth of a bus can make a basket case out of me, even when I am drugged up on dramamine.
But, I do pass a lot of bus stops on my bicycle jaunts around the city and I often think that if anyone wanted to know how the city really felt about its lower-income residents, the bus stops in areas like South L.A. are awfully telling.
As I noted here, they certainly don’t provide much in the way of shelter from the sun in the heat of the summer.
And, they generally have some combination of foibles, meaning they often aren’t comfortable, clean, safe, or easily accessible places.
As winter comes and the days are both shorter and sometimes wet, these problems come into sharper relief.
If you’re female, for example, and you spend too much time waiting at (or even walking to) stops along S. Figueroa (in the 10 – 15 blocks north of Century) or certain stretches of Western (just north of Slauson or around 39th), you might be mistaken for a prostitute and followed, harassed, and/or propositioned.
Or, as once happened to me on Western (near the Bronco Motel), you could be stalked by a pimp.
While not a pleasant experience in broad daylight, these sorts of things can make trying to get where you need to go after dark a much unhappier and more perilous endeavor. Poor lighting around some stops do not help the situation. Read more…