Category Archives: Global

End Street Harassment

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End Street Harassment

Hollaback!

A friend of mine brought this web site to my attention and it needs to be shared.  So often, women (sometimes men) are victimized on the street by men under the cover of anonymity.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that the women are raped or physically contacted.  Strangers commonly shout things at women as they walk in public, make obscene gestures, or even just stare at them.  Contrary though it may seem, this is “socially acceptable”, because they can get away with it without any of their acquaintances ever finding out.  It is normal and tolerated.  Their mom will never know that they cat-called a woman as she walked by, their girlfriend will never know that they took pictures of a stranger all while wearing a suggestive smile, their boss will never know they solicited obscene favors from a woman who was clearly perturbed by the suggestion.  The streets of a major city are perhaps even more anonymous than the internet, in that there are no IP addresses or other cyber crumbs to follow.

No more.

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I never use a shopping cart anymore

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I never use a shopping cart anymore

I guess I'm anti-American.

A lot of my outlook on life changed after my bus streak, but one of the most unexpected aspects was my perceptions of the shopping cart.  When you grocery shop on the bus, you obviously can’t take back as much stuff as you would be able to in your car.  Shopping trips become much more purposeful and minimalist.  Everything I took home had to fit within a couple of canvas shopping bags and had to be light enough for me to carry approximately half a mile to the nearest bus stop without dying or disconnecting my arms.  Shopping carts just had no place in my life.  I assumed, as you might, that once I started using my car again, I would go back to my old ways of stuffing a shopping cart full of unnecessary junk.

Not so.

To this day (about three months after I started using my car again), I’ve only used a shopping cart a couple of times.  The few times I have used it, it has been nearly empty (you could still see the bottom of the cart).  And, when it’s time to go to my car, I empty out the cart in the store lobby before venturing into the parking lot.  I can’t remember the last time I took a shopping cart to my car.

It’s not so much that I forget to grab one or that I’m being defiant about it.  They just feel awkward, now.  Sometimes people look at me weird, carrying all of my stuff in my arms (or in a basket when I’m lucky), but that’s ok.  I save money, while they buy junk that they don’t need.  Thank you, Bus, for teaching me a whole new way to be frugal.  :)

10 Bus stops that make you stop.

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10 Bus stops that make you stop.

The bus and train stops where I live leave much to be desired.  They are boring.  They are uncomfortable.  They are uninspiring.  They are a long way from satisfying.

I went on a high-speed quest to find the world’s 10 most tempting bus stops, and here is what I found.  You can click on each picture to be taken to the source page for a full story of each.  Enjoy!

A bus stop adorned with flowers, vines, and potted plants.  A lady sits inside on a cushioned seat.

Moroccan Bus Stop, Cornwall, U.K. This lady got tired of vandals destroying her bus stop, so she gave it a make-over.

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Entrapment at the bus stop.

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Entrapment at the bus stop.

A story recently appeared in the news sphere that has disturbed me deeply.  A mother and her three children in Marietta, Georgia, arrived at the bus stop across the street from their apartment.  While crossing the street, her four year-old child was hit and killed by a car.  The man who killed her child, Jerry Guy, served six months in jail and is on five years of probation.

But, she was charged with and convicted of second-degree vehicular homicide — because she was jaywalking. You can see the full story below.

I believe this case illustrates the entrapment the city uses against the underprivileged.  Read below for my argument.

For the moment, we will put aside a few of the facts.  The man who killed A.J. Nelson had been drinking and was on pain medications.  He was partially blind in one eye.  The accident happened at night. This was his third hit-and-run accident.   The jury who convicted her was not a jury of her peers: they all reported that they had never had to use public transportation or walk along a busy street.  But, forget about all of that for right now.

Let’s talk about the bus stop issues involved.

Raquel Nelson and her family had to cross a busy four-lane street to get to their apartment.  The nearest crosswalk was almost half a mile away and required that they cross other side streets that were not well-lit.  The preferred route is obvious.  However, prosecutors have insisted that passengers should ride to the nearest crosswalk before de-busing.  That’s what the city intended when it designed the transit system, right?

An understanding of how bus stops work is necessary.  With little exception, bus stops are always paired: one on each side of the street.  The most obvious reason for this is so that you can get off at your destination, no matter the direction of travel.  But, is this what the city had in mind when designing the system?  Or did they expect their passengers to ride to the nearest crosswalk and cross there?  Let’s investigate.

I, too, live in a set of apartments along a busy boulevard — six lanes separate me from my couch at the end of the day.  I gathered images from around my home to share with you.

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