Tag Archives: Bus stop

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 said, “No, no, no.”

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I said, “No, no, no.”

A man walked up to me and began making small chat with me.  He was several years older than me (read: about 20…), so I assumed it was harmless.  Lesson learned, never a good idea to make assumptions.  He eventually began to curb the small chat.

Lonely island creeping out a girl.

No. Please. Don't do the creep.

Do you smoke?  No.

Are you married?  No.

Do you have a boyfriend?  No.

Can I be your boyfriend?  No.

<<sigh>>

Him: Why not?

Me:  I don’t want a boyfriend.

Him: Nah…. You don’t want a BLACK boyfriend.

<<sigh>>

Me: No… I don’t want ANY boyfriend…

Him: Why not?

Me: I value my independence.

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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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Let go of time.

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Let go of time.

A lot of people choose not to ride the bus because of the exorbitant amount of time it takes to get from Point A to Point B.  There’s no argument from me.  A trip that should take 30 minutes easily takes two hours.  This sometimes really bothers me.

However, recently, I’ve started coming to a startling conclusion.  I’ve begun to appreciate the delays.  Even if it’s just a little tiny bit, and in fleeting moments.

Maybe it’s a stereotype, but I think Americans are way too obsessed about time.  We’re controlling about where every minute of the day — conscious or unconscious — goes.  We’ve become obsessive-compulsive about it.  A delay of 10 minutes in line at McDonalds unacceptable.  It’s infuriating.  It causes annoyance, conflict, stress, anger, aggression, rage.  And yet, it’s only 10 minutes!

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Few teeth, plenty of advice.

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I deviated from my normal bus route and took a dive into a seedy part of town to do an interview for class.  Many of you already know that I am Dysnavic: a word I invented to describe my complete and utter lack of ability to navigate my way out of a paper bag.  To accommodate for my disability, I brought several hard-copies of my route, an iPod with photographs of the map, and had memorized every square inch of it.  There was no way I would get lost.

As I approached the bus stop, a chunky old man missing most of his front teeth greeted me, invited me to sit in the 3 inches remaining next to him on the bench, and asked me where I was going.

Toothless boy

Missing teeth is not always a bad thing.

“I’m taking the 11 down to Cedar Bluff.”

He looked at me like I was on crack.  “What business do you have down in Cedar Bluff?”

“I’ve got an appointment at the BCDG.”

“What’s that?”

At this point, I realized that this was not a conversation I had meant to get myself into.  Sharing details about public transportation destinations with strangers is not always the safest idea.  I needed to send anti-social vibes quickly.  “I have no idea.”

“What are you going to do there?”

“I don’t know.”

Though these answers seemed pretty deflective to me, they didn’t phase him one bit.

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