This is the third first-round matchup in the Sweet 16 round of our annual Sorriest Bus Stop contest (voting continues through Saturday at 4 p.m. Eastern). Polls are still open on one first-round bout, Lynchburg vs. Queens. In our previous first-round battle, Quebec City advanced to the Abominable Eight with a complete destruction of Philadelphia. (Full bracket below.)
There’s just something unnatural about a society that neglects to provide even the most basic dignities to its bus riders — especially when a city straight up doesn’t do anything about the overgrown plantlife around a stop.
Today, we’re pitting two weed-choked waiting areas against one another in our quest to find the sorriest (or should we say seediest?) stop around.
Read up on two nominations that definitely belong in the bush league, and scroll to the bottom to vote for which one should advance to the Atrocious Eight.
Trenton’s Grassy Disaster
Believe it or not, B-movie cinephiles, this photo is not a still from the paranormal horror film In the Tall Grass. And we’re willing to bet that not even Stephen King and Joe Hill would be caught dead at this sorry stop:
Located right on the line between the near-Detroit suburbs of Trenton and Riverview, Mich. (contrary to that Google Maps tag in the corner, our nominator says this stop’s on the Trenton side of the street), this overgrown embarrassment is located on a 35-mile-per-hour residential street with no sidewalk, no shelter, no bench. There is a sign, but you might have to stand on your toes to see it above that comically tall grass.
And we’ve gotta talk about what’s behind the curtain of foliage, too: a large limestone quarry. Studies have shown that environmental “exposure to dust from quarrying activities could pose health dangers to the population living nearby” … and probably those waiting for the bus nearby, too.
After Trenton made the Substandard 16, nominator Matt let us know that this stop will actually be eliminated soon due to service changes that will re-route the line. Let’s hope that the stops along the new route are a little more considerate of their riders’ basic needs — so vote for this stop … if you want SMART Bus (@smartbusorg) to remember it as a strong example of what not to do next time.
Narberth’s Vegetation Abomination
What’s worse: a bus stop you can barely see thanks to a wall of grass, or a bus stop you can barely stand at, thanks to a mess of weeds wrapped around a guardrail?
Located in the Philadelphia suburb of Narberth, Pa. — yes, two different stops in the larger SEPTA network made the Sorry Sixteen — this stop is located in a residential area less than half a mile from a nature conservancy. And nature is definitely in full effect here: as our nominator notes, if you’re even able to clamber over the guardrail to get out of the narrow road, you’ll find yourself “standing in the tall vegetation and mud with a huge hill behind you.”
Your other choice? Waiting in 45 mile per hour traffic on a steep road that provides one of the only points of access to the I-76 interstate in the area. And of course, there’s no sidewalk, or even a shoulder.
Like Trenton’s Grassy Disaster, this Vegetation Abomination doesn’t have the highest ridership. But because folks in the suburbs deserve access to high-quality bus stops, too, we thought it deserved a place on this list.
Here’s the first bracket so far, in case you’re playing along at home.