The white band on the center pole marks the stop, in lieu of a sign.
(Photos by Elly Blue)
After a warm, dry week, New Year’s Eve brought us another big snowstorm here in Hamden, Connecticut (my hometown, just north of New Haven). At around noon it was snowing hard, the wind was blowing, visibility was low, and the streets were covered with increasingly packed and rutted snow. I decided to take the bus downtown.
The bus was delayed because of the snow, so I had plenty of time to stand there and think about my experiences on the J bus over the years. This was an old familiar feeling — this was my bus line for years, and service was always infrequent and unpunctual.
graffiti has directed walkers to “Press your
middle finger on the button!”
since I was a young kid.
Something which I’d never really noticed before, but which now strikes me as crazy is that on CT Transit’s the J line here in Hamden, there are no signs. Instead, you have to look sharp for a faded band of white paint on a telephone or streetlight pole every few blocks.
What’s more, in the 20 years since those markings were last painted, CT Transit has eliminated some of the stops, but without removing the markings. My friend Mike, whose primary mode of transportation for decades has been the bus, was chewed out by a bus driver last month for waiting at a stop with a white band where service had been recently discontinued.
I definitely get the sense that the bus system has never been a priority in this region. Hopefully that will change in the future — they’re at least going to have to repaint the white sections on those poles at some point.
Elly Blue has been writing about bicycling and carfree issues for BikePortland.org since 2006. Find her at http://takingthelane.com