NFCCA

Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ October 2016

‘Sorriest Bus Stop in America’ in Our Neighborhood

By David Rotenstein

Our neighborhood has lots of things that distinguish it from other places in Montgomery County and beyond.  We have an official 1939 World’s Fair replica home and possibly the earliest ranch house in Montgomery County.  And, earlier this year, people from around the nation voted to name a Colesville Road bus stop north of Southwood Drive the “sorriest bus stop in America.”

In July, a Silver Spring blogger entered the Ride On and Metrobus stop in the southbound lanes of Colesville Road opposite Crestmoor Drive in a contest sponsored by Streetsblog.org, a blog that touts itself as “a daily news source connecting people to information about sustainable transportation and livable communities.”  The blog invited readers to send a photo of their entry along with a “brief description of why it’s so terrible and which public officials/agencies deserve to be shamed.”

Dan Reed, a transportation planner and new urbanist pundit, threw our stop into the contest.  “There are no sidewalks leading to it,” Reed wrote in his entry.  “It’s at an intersection, but there’s no crosswalk and no stoplight.  And, of course, there’s a steep hill next to it.”


The Metrobus/Ride On stop on Colesville Road at Crestmoor Drive was voted ‘The Sorriest Bus Stop in America.’  That’s right — the worst in the entire country.  By a wide margin.

Our stop handily made its way through the semi-finals and the final round, beating a stop in Kansas City, Missouri, 868 votes to 214 to take the honors.  The contest was reported online and by traditional news media around the nation.  Our bus stop was featured in The Washington Post and on National Public Radio.  Pictures of the bus stop went viral on social media and area bloggers covered the contest like the World Series.

Internet contests like this frequently are little more than clickbait, clever ways to engage readers and drive traffic to special interest sites.  But this contest might yield some improvements to what clearly is a suboptimal place to catch a ride.  County officials weighed in after the contest.  The Washington Post reported that leaders in Rockville have asked the Maryland State Highway Administration, which has jurisdiction over the site, to explore ways to improve the stop.  “The primary issue is whether something can be done to make crossing US 29 at that location safer,” county spokesperson Esther Bowring told the Post.

Possible solutions include abandoning the stop and adding a traffic light at the intersection, which mainly serves Woodmoor residents and visitors.  In the meantime, folks in Northwood-Four Corners have transit stop options at Southwood and Lorain Avenues.

For more information on the “Sorriest Bus Stop in America” contest, go to the site where it all began:  http://usa.streetsblog.org/category/special-reports/sorriest-bus-stop-in-america-2016/.   ■


   © 2016 NFCCA  [Source: https://nfcca.org/news/nn201610e.html]