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Aparently the MBTA and the City of Boston haven't figured out that fancy style bus shelters (like Kenmore Square and Washington Street) don't work that well in actually sheltering passengers

They also seem to prefer artistic merit over functionality, as they propose to duplicate the design elsewhere.

http://blog.mass.gov/transportation/uncategorized/mbta-partners-with-cit...

All on the taxpayer's dime, of course.

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Maybe you didn't read the article? But what i just read is their having a design contest for new bus shelters, with no mention of duplicating Kenmore!

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- which looks a lot like the Kenmore shelter - that threw me off. However, the fact thay are having a design contest to develop bus shelters is highly questionable.

For one thing, just why do we need to have "The Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, Boston Art Commission, and "City’s Streets cabinet" deciding about bus shelter design. More WASTEFUL and POINTLESS bureauracy sticking their noses where they really don't belong.

A bus shelter has ONE function - to shelter people waiting for buses. And there are proven designs that serve this function and have been sucessfully used for decades in Boston and other cities . We shouldn't be so obsessed with 'creative design of civic structures'.

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Bus shelters can and do have other functions. In many cities, like chicago, they display real time upcoming bus times and maps of the route. Highways in MA display estimated travel times and construction updates, and commuter rail stations have next train times. No reason bus users can't have the same benefits commuter rail and drivers get.

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that incorporates those features, then why doesn't the MBTA just use that then?

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Chalk it up to "bikeshedding". There's a low barrier of entry to having an opinion about how things like bus shelters should look, so you get this middle and upper management that focus on simple problems like bus shelters, instead of the more complex problems in front of them.

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IMAGE(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d8/Silver_Line_bus_stop.jpg/440px-Silver_Line_bus_stop.jpg)
IMAGE(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3a/Kenmore_bus_shelter.JPG/440px-Kenmore_bus_shelter.JPG)
          ( neither of which provide much shelter for Ⓣ passengers )

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I've modified my headline.

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You mean that wasn't purposefully built to provide almost no protection from the elements? (You wouldn't want it to attract the homeless....)

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This is why shelters don't actually "shelter": they do not want them to become permanent shelter for the homeless.

Give a visit to any other area of the country that has a severe homeless problem (Boston doesn't, by any means, even with the recent uptick) and you see even more spartan shelters than this.

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http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/06/how-cities-use-desig...

It's only a matter of time before we start seeing park benches with claymores attached.

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In my world, "design competition" is a euphemism for "we want the work done, but we don't want to pay anyone to do it." $9500 is the max amount available for the entire construction and it must be functional, fun, weather-resistant, and completed in six months. I'm not sure how much anyone here makes for 6 months of work, but given that this piece will be a permanent design installation for the public, this isn't a whole lot of money.

What's the saying? Fast, good, or cheap. Pick two.

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In other words the cheapest way to make designers and architects create something for you.

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for a poor college student to make some cash and build their resume.

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But you get to a point where every project "builds your resume", and never adds to your bank account. I hope we never get to that point, but there's definitely a noticeable trend.

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Ask a musician what he or she thinks of working for free, "for the exposure."

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"Money is what you live off of. Exposure is what you die from"

*mutters angrily about unpaid economy*

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Absolutely nothing in this article says anything about being required to copy the Kenmore bus shelter design. In fact, it says the opposite: design something new. We can stomp our feet and cry about the Kenmore bus shelter design fiasco all we want OR we can learn from our mistakes and not repeat them, hopefully designing a new functional structure that is attractive as well.

I work in the AEC industry. Believe me, we make mistakes when designing things. We recognize that and we learn from them.

I'm getting so tired of your constant editorializing here to promote your own agenda. The headline should just be "MBTA seeks ideas for Mattapan bus shelter design."

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hopefully designing a new functional structure that is attractive as well.

First, the illustration accompanying the article looks a lot like the shelter at Kenmore. That's what's misleading here, not my headline for the story. If they want to avoid another Kenmore design, then why show one as an example?

Second, why is suddenly so important that a structure needs to be "attractive"? People will quickly adapt to the appearance of a structure. As I stated in a previous reply, there are established standard designs for bus shelters that are FUNCTIONAL. No need to re-invent the wheel here.

Third, I'm sorry you object to my pointing out that exercises like this are nothing more than a waste of time, money (our tax money), and other resources. Both the MBTA and the CIty of Boston are constantally complaining about budget and resource issues. Yet they are able to come up with POINTLESS nonsense like "let's have people design bus shelters". Instead of focusing on "quality of life" and appeasing "arts councils" and the like, why doesn't the MBTA focus on repairing their tracks and trains and improving on-time performance. That would be a reasonable use of resources, not more "giltter and fringes" and "let's make the neighbors feel good" crap.

Sorry, but a basic and purely functional bus shelter that serves the patrons will not cause people to leave the neighborhood in droves because "OMG it's ugly". Bu it will save the MBTA and the City money and time,

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the design teams compete for free - the $ given out is for the building of prototypes. It engages young designers and removes the utilitarian public look of the bus stops. It's been done in most cities, major and minor. A friend of mine won a contest like this in Durham. Having a hard time seeing what is so terrible about this. A new bus shelter will require some kind of design regardless - free labor to do so is awful?

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Having a hard time seeing what is so terrible about this.

They will complain about anything, and everything concerning the T.

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What is the average performance of the transit systems in other cities that have taken the let's exploit free labor "design contest" approach? I'm sure it's far better than the MBTA's record.

And that is my principal objection to stuff like this. Instead of obsessing over "will the community like the appearance of our bus shelters" and "we need to provide decorative outline lighting on one of our subway stations" nonsensne, perhaps the T should be focusing on actually improving the frequency and quality of their service first.

It's unfortunate how so many people (incluidng many on UHub) are so easily taken in by baubles and fringe that they can't see the larger problems that need to be addressed first.

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If you have an idea for bus shelters that are functional and save the city money, then *submit it to the contest*.

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We don't need a design contest for the MBTA to provide something that transit agencies have been building for decades.

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Then submit some of these decades-old designs from other transit agencies to the contest.

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These designs are ALREADY AVAILABLE to the MBTA. No need for a friggin contest to select one.

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I propose a scaled up version of this www.walmart.com/ip/Caravan-Canopy-Domain-Carport-Garage-Sidewall-Enclosu...

It'll have dual, state of the art synthetic material on the sides which can not only block dangerous dihydrogen monoxide (which can cause severe burns at high temperatures), but also be built in such a way to support an overarching ultraviolet nullifier. The UV nullifier maximizes comfort by minimizing exposure to life threatening radiation.

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City: We are doing it this way!
Public: Waah! No we want public input and meeting and impact studies

Result: Project delays, complications, budget increase - for example green line extension

City: We would like community input on something people will see and use every day
Public: Waah! Waste of time and money, just do it we don't care!

Result: Project done and close to budget, looks ugly, may be impractical / defective

People on the internet: We want things this way, waah!
Other people on the internet: Waah we want things different!

Result: The world we live in now where everything is criticised, nothing gets done.

You are erratic, conflicted, disorganized. Every decision is debated, every action questioned. Every individual entitled to their own small opinion.

PS WAAAAAAAAAAH!

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The T is an easy target to complain about.

As I've said before, and I'll say it again.

We could have stations built with stainless steele, cleaned every hour by a team of 100 people with tooth brushes. Have trains that are replaced every six months and are on a 5 minute headway 24 hours a day.

And people would still find a way to complain about it. You really can't please everyone..

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You are erratic, conflicted, disorganized.

The "you" that you're talking about is people, and frankly, you're the unreasonable one if you expect "people" to spontaneously organize themselves into a single tidy consensus. This may be news to you, but different people want different things. The problem is with your expectation that this should not be so. Your complaint is absurd, so WAAAAAH yourself.

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No harm in having interesting designs.

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I think the Brazlilian is an awesome design, and would work great in the winters and is easy to maintain.

The only thing is, apparently it gets really itchy and red every 2-3 weeks and needs to be cleaned up again.

Wocka Wocka Wocka!

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In the meantime they have removed all seating areas and sides (wind and rain protection) in all of the bust stops down around the area of Boston Medical Center to Andrew Square, affectionatley known as Hamsterdam

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Freudian slip, I mean the BUS STOPS!.

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Do you mean the Methadone Mile?

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non other! Shade of The Wire

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1. roadman's headlines suck. And enough with the taxpayers shtick. The T funding comes from more than general tax revenue.

2. Generally speaking, the T doesn't own the sidewalk on which the bus shelter resides. Kenmore is the exception, not the rule. In light of this reality, the T has to work with the local jurisdiction about things like aesthetics, footprint, runoff from roof, and attractiveness to the homeless. Additionally, the T has to think about maintenance vs. capital costs, space for advertising, and so forth. I'm not arguing against choosing a set of design principles, but the idea that the T could have a single standard bus shelter design is poppycock.

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Especially your #2.

You're 100% correct. In Most towns, its up to the CITY to provide bus shelters, not the MBTA. Which is why in some communities the bus shelters are provided by CEMUSA or JCDecaux. Both companies are contracted to maintain, build, and deal with advertising. The city or the MBTA has very little to do with it, except for bus stop location.

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ONE WITH A SPRINKLER SYSTEM
THAT FIGHTS BACK WHEN IT CATCHES OUR LOCAL GRAFITTI ARTIST AT WORK.
LOADED WITH SOME FOUL SMELLING COLOGNE LIKE ODE SKUNK

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Roadman, you obviously don't ride the bus very often.

If you did, you'd know that existing shelter designs are not functional at all, not when you could be waiting for half an hour in rain, wind, snow or very cold temperatures. Most bus shelters in Boston have walls that do not reach the roof, as well as being too small for the number of people waiting.

Some, like Kenmore, provide no protection from the elements at all.

As a regular bus rider, something that protects one from the elements and isn't an absolutely terrible space to lose up to half an hour waiting for a bus would be welcome.

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Boston is a windier city than Chicago. I've lived and taken public transit in both.
The bus (and street Green line) shelters in Boston need to provide better protection from wind and wind driven rain/snow. They need to have seats for people who need to sit but not benches to lie down on. They need to to be glass to ten feet so that people waiting can be seen from the street. And they have to be long enough to shelter the average number of daily riders.

If it's true that the Mass Ave bus shelters have been dismantled to discourage the homeless, this is a dereliction of duty on the part of the city of Boston, Walsh, and the MBTA.

Everyone knows that the huge spike in addicts on that route is the result of closing the Long Island Hospital. But Walsh and the people who want to privately develop the island for profit have never been held to account.

So the people who live and commute on Mass Ave have to suffer for it.

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Where did you hear that Mass Ave's bus shelters were removed?

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