Tuesday, November 2, 2010

More shelters needed at bus stops

Balancing my textbook and portfolio in the crook of my arm, I hold my umbrella over me while fishing in my pocket with my other hand to produce my Lake Transit pass. The arrival of rain, while otherwise welcome, necessitates this balancing act.

As I make my trip between Middletown and Lakeport, the transfer points are equipped with covered shelters but the beginning stop and the final destination are open to the elements. The Lake Transit Authority has been working toward bus stop improvements, but I would like to suggest that service clubs consider assisting toward these improvements.

The May 2010 meeting of the LTA included discussion of forming a Joint Powers Authority with the Konocti Unified School District to permit students to construct bus stop pads and install shelters. LTA has also worked with the Clearlake Rotary Club, which volunteered to help installing concrete pads for bus shelter installation (official minutes, May 2009).

LTA minutes are archived online under "Agendas/Minutes" at www.lakeapc.org.

The advantage of taking on a project like that of the Clearlake Rotary Club is that the addition of shelters and other improvements would provide immediate enhancements. The rainy season has just arrived and having a sheltered area to wait under would greatly promote the use of public transit.

Environmentally, it makes sense to travel by bus instead of being a single motorist who commutes to work by car. If the bus schedule works for you, why not at least give it a try, particularly if a covered stop will keep you dry while you wait for the bus?

I like to use some of my bus travel time to catch up on assigned readings for my class.
Between Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis clubs in several of our communities, not to mention area business associations, there are plenty of stops that could benefit. Why not consider working with Lake Transit to  "adopt" one or more stops that are in need of improvements?

A Transit Passenger Facilities Development Plan for Lake County, prepared by LSC Transportation Consultants, Inc. and Pat Piras Consulting, outlines essential design principles including riders' ease of boarding and deboarding and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) requirements.

The document makes recommendations that are based upon the number of boardings per day, with a bench enhancement for those that have between five and nine boardings per day and shelter reserved for those sites with 10 or more boardings per day.

Personally, I'd advocate an "If you build it, they will come" attitude -- particularly if a service club is willing to make up the difference between what the document recommends and installation of full shelter. I think a shelter would make for great publicity to attract new riders to board, especially if a weatherproof panel could show a a map of routes and times for that stop.

The Transit Passenger Facilities Development Plan can be viewed at www.lakeapc.org/docs/Transit%20Passenger%20Facilities%20Development%20Plan%202006.pdf.

Published Nov. 2, 2010 in the Lake County Record-Bee

No comments:

Post a Comment