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One of the Nation’s ‘Sorriest’ Bus Stops Gets Upgrade

12:09 PM PST on December 14, 2018

One of the nation's worst bus stops has gotten a slight upgrade after reaching the Elite Eight in Streetsblog's annual "Sorriest Bus Stops in America" contest.

This stunningly bad bus stop in Suffolk County — an eastern and largely affluent suburb of New York City — has been spruced up with a level concrete platform to replace the worn-out patch of mud and dirt that previously existed at the well-used stop, local government staff informs us.

Its inclusion on our competition caught the attention of county officials, who made a special effort to make it less sorry. Here is the result.

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This still-sorry bus stop is not going to win any design competitions. But Jonathan Keyes, an urban planner with Suffolk County who sent us the above photo, wrote:

We’ve shifted the stop further south so that buses will stop at an improved location closer to the Long Island Women’s Empowerment Network/Family Service League. We also did some in-house engineering to regrade the site and utilized on-call contractors to lay the concrete pad. ... We recognize, of course, that this stop is still far from perfect; unfortunately, for instance, there was no budget at this time for a shelter, and it is still a pad that is unconnected to a larger pedestrian network and nearby destinations.

But he says Crooked Hill Road in the town of Islip is due for a major capital upgrade and is scheduled to receive sidewalks in the next few years so this is just an interim solution. Suffolk County manages a suburban transit system with 2,729 stops, Keyes says, and operating costs have been rising faster than state support for transit. (Where have we heard that before — oh, everywhere.)

This is not the first bus stop that received an upgrade after being shamed nationwide by our annual contest. Our runner-up from 2016, in Kansas City, received a complete overhaul, that took it from entirely sorry to fully respectable in 2017. The stop serves Kauffman Stadium, where the Kansas City Royals play.

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The goal isn't really to fix individual bus stops, but to get local officials and the public thinking about these forgotten spaces before they are held up for national shame.

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