I think it’s every Chicagoan’s duty, when he has friends out on vacation in warm places, to bitch about all the cold weather back home — even if it’s not actually cold. It makes the vacation feel all that much better.
Category: City life
So, this just happened: my Blue Line train may have been about to derail or be hit by an oncoming train. Not the way I was hoping to get home, frankly.
I’m riding on the train from O’Hare. It’s a moderately full train since the station was rather full when it pulled in. But everything’s fine, we’re moving.
We pull into Jefferson Park station.Â It is about 12:05.
Now we’re pulling out of the station. The driver comes on the PA and says: “This train will not stop at Montrose. If you want to go to Montrose, you’ll have to OOOOUUGUHHHHH!!!!!!!” and the train jerks to a halt.
And then the PA goes dead.
Well!Â No explanation as to what the hell thatÂ was. I immediately start to feel that something is wrong. But I’m in the fourth or fifth car, and I can’t see all the way to the front.
The driver does not come back on to explain it. It is obvious that something bad has happened or there would be an explanation. We’re sitting there a good five, six minutes. I stand up and gather my luggage. I start thinking, I’m going to have to evacuate mid-car.
We’re not all the way out of the station. I’m in the middle of the train, and I am still in the station, next to the platform. That seems safe. It’s not dark.
I chat with some guys from Boston. At this point it’s been a good twelve minutes or so; still no explanation. I’m texting people to say I think I’ve been in an incident.
My thesis is either that somebody jumped in front of the train, or the driver was attacked by a passenger. Either way, I don’t want to meet up with whatever caused that. I start thinking I’m going to open the doors manually and get off, because she hasn’t come back on to tell us what’s happening.
ThenÂ we hear the usualÂ beep beep beep, “This train is experiencing –” and then that message cuts out too. I’m about done with this.
Finally. The driver comes hustling through the train from front to back. I ask her what happened. She says, “The train will be moving shortly!”
She never gets back on the PA. The train then starts runningÂ backward through the station. Stops again. The doors fumble and then finally open for good.
That is when I immediately bolt, because the hell withÂ this.
I go up to the fare booth and ask what happened. The booth people, they don’t want to say. “You said you were at Montrose?” I said, “No, guys, the driver said we aren’t stopping at Montrose and then she screamed. What the heck happened?”
Here is what happened, according to them: As part of “Your New Blue,” CTA is single-tracking Blue Line in this area. That is why the Montrose station was going to be skipped: they’re working there.Â The driver ran a signal leaving the station. She screamed when either she realized her mistake or when the automatic safety system shut down the train. The booth guy said, “She screamedÂ because she’s a rookie.Â The downtown control center called her and said, ‘Did you run a signal?’ Basically, you were about to either derail the train or be put on a collision course with an oncoming train on the single track.”
That is why she came running to the other end of the train: to back us up out of the danger area.
This was obviously very scary. You don’t expect to hear a driver scream into a PA at midnight — and then not explain it. I’m thinking either it’s a heart attack, a suicide, or some crazy passenger has just attacked the driver and is coming for us. It was ridiculous for her not to come on and tell us what happened — at least eventually.
More to the point, and it goes without saying, she should not have run the signal. She should have been careful around the construction zone.
And have we not had drivers blow through signals before on Blue Line? It seems likeÂ all the incidents involve Blue Line. Remember the Ghost Train? The stories about drivers posting through Cumberland without stopping because they were asleep? And the classic O’Hare escalator crash. Thank God no one was killed. And no one was killed tonight, including me.
I really hope this didn’t happen the way it was explained to me. If we were put on a single stretch of track where we could have been hit by an oncoming train, that is a huge safety lapse. This whole episode further strengthens my resolve never to be in the first or last car of a train. It’s just not worth it.
I may follow up with CTA to find out what happened. If I do, I will post about it again.
To hasten the end of winter, I like to go down the lake and kick ice.
Every winter I’ve been here in Chicago has been brutal. Weeks and weeks of unending ice and grey sludge in the streets. Temperatures so low they lock up all the moisture in the air; getting bloody micro-cracks across my knuckles. The constant need to lotion up my shins (why those?). So cold it’s impossible to ride; or if you do ride, so cold you can’t keep the tires inflated, and you fear the bike will shatter into a thousand metal shards when you hit a bump. Or, so icy you fall down again and again and again until you give up, walking an hour home, dragging a useless bicycle with your numb hands, your backside bruised and wet with slush.
So when the melt finally comes, and on the first barely warm day, I go down the lake. Usually you can find great jagged piles of ice, kilometers long and meters high. The wind whips it up, you see the waves are driven up over the seawall, and they freeze there before they have a chance to run back into the lake. The snowstorms will drive the snow against the steps, where it’ll stick. Or there’ll be layers of ice, slightly melted in a weak sun, refrozen again when night comes. Oftentimes the ice is full of dirt–whatever has been churned up off the floor of the lake by the angry winter waves–and there’ll be a skin of more dirt that rises to the top of the ice wherever some water has evaporated. The ice lingers, great mounds of it.
The first warm day, I go down and I kick ice. Sometimes you can only bust up a little bit of the edges, and you have to move on to another patch. There’ll be other places where there’s a good soft spot, and you can bust through and really do some damage.
The fun of kicking ice is strategically making chunks big enough to break up with a foot, then giving them a great kick seaward, so the chunks go flying over the seawall. The noise it makes hitting the water is fantastic. Crash! If you kick a big flat one fast enough, you can make a ferocious splash. Other times, you lose velocity, and they limp over the edge, almost vertical, and barely make a sound as they ease into the water.
There’s a grave danger involved in this, which I respect but don’t necessarily fear. I wear regular sneakers, because they’re going to get dirty. I pick whatever is messiest or oldest, and thus also the slipperiest and most worn out. The cold, wet concrete gives pretty good grip, since it’s grooved, but it’s ice we’re talking about–it’s slippery. When you kick at it, you can usually tell where it’s going to go and (more importantly) how much resistance it’s going to give you. Just like in shooting, you have to judge the kickback correctly or you’ll hurt yourself. I temper the danger with technique: first I punch straight down on the ice with the back of my heel, several times if need be, then when I think I got a good one loosened up, I’ll give it a full pitch from the hip. Usually, this works and you get the splash. But there’s a risk of following the ice right into the lake. How much is it worth doing? How deadly would the water be? After all, it’s not frozen. Could I make it to the nearest ladder if I fell in? Respect the lake. But attack the ice.
I like seeing lake dissolve the ice. Like I said, lot of times the ice is muddy, it’s full of stones, the chaff that rises up to the skin of any melting and refreezing ice. When you send a good ice chunk into the blue water, a stream of brown silt usually flows off of it. The waves’ll wash over the ice chunk, carry away the silt, in a slow plume. Sometimes you’ll find a pure, white chunk under there. More often, it’ll fracture into a dozen pieces before you see any clean ice. Usually, it all just melts dirty, then gone.
It’s funny how long the ice can last, how many minutes. Drifting away like a dirty ghost. But it can never outlast the waves and the water–however cold it may be–because liquid water is always warmer than ice. There’s a solidity in that, a certainty. It’ll go.
And that’s the real reason to go down kicking ice. Every bit of ice you send skittering over the wall brings spring and summer that much closer. It’s a public service, getting rid of ice. We’ve got to get rid of it, because if the lake path is still crusted over with ice, then it’s still winter, and winter’s got to go.
I kick last winter right into the water. Sometimes only a bit. Sometimes it’s not time yet and I have to come back. Sometimes I find places where the meltwater is coming out, and there’s a small trickle already, or a big one. I can tell it doesn’t need much of my help. But if there’s a trickle I’ll build dams, sometimes, figuring if I can make a big pond of water, that’ll rinse away more ice and faster than I can do with my shoe. But usually I get bored of all that eventually and smash it all up and kick everything into the water.
It’s all got to go. My trips down the lake are restorative, peaceful. Nobody else wants this work; I get the whole city’s shoreline to myself, and as I say it can run on forever. So I walk, kicking, and thinking.
I feel cheated. This winter has been the mildest I’ve seen since I moved to Chicago. Right now there is not a bit of ice anywhere on the shore–and there isn’t even any slush or rutted ice in the streets, either. It isn’t fair. There’s nothing to do down the lake, and it’s not dangerous to go kicking, walking, thinking. And this weekend it was already crowded, at least by February standards. My good work isn’t needed.
Will shopkeepers stop yelling at me when I walk in? As soon as I’ve got through the door, I get a shouted “Hi!”Â Little is more predictably discomfiting.
You know what I’m talking about: you come in offÂ the street, brush the snow off your jacket, blink under the lights, and immediately you’ve got to identify who is shouting at you and from where. It’s disorientingâ€”like some kind of retail combat exam. I never can tell who’s just shouted at me, because there are a lot of people in this busy room, and I swear they don’t even make eye contact. It’s a mystery game.
Upon receiving the shouted “Welcome!” or “Hi!”, the rules of etiquette of course require a response, which from me is always an embarrassed Er, yes, hello… Usually, this has to be done at some distance, because I’m barely inside. The choices are to ignore the greeting entirely (rude); mutter outÂ a responseÂ at normal volume, but potentially not being heard by whicheverÂ person has just taken all this trouble to notice and yell at me (also rude); or to indiscriminately shriek out “Hello to you, too!” atÂ everyone in earshot (insane). In fact, what is sold as an act of friendlinessÂ is actually hostility: startling the hungry, needy customer with an etiquette dilemma within a second of entry. This isn’t how you put people in a spending mood, and no one who just wantsÂ Q-Tips or a burrito should have to face it. Urban life is grim enough.
It’s also transparentlyÂ fake, saccharine joy. These people aren’t happy to see me, or at least, not that happy. Even if I were inclined to buy their friendliness, my spending any amount of time in the same place quickly reveals my not-uniqueness, as I soon hear the same greeting shouted at customer after customer. How many menÂ did you fake it for before you gave it to me? I never thought I was special; but thank you, now you’ve proved it, every single minute as long as I stay.
Is there another place where shouting at strangers is so predictable and so jarring? Please, everyone stop yelling at me. Let’s save the niceties for ifÂ we’re actually being nice.
So I’m sitting at the Caribou Coffee, here to do some writing and thinking. There’s an incredibly bad guitar singer here with an amp — which never happens. I’m trying to work, but the old man is cranking out bad renditions of the Beatles and the Monkees. (Come on man, pick one and get good at it!)
I am grateful, then, that I at least have my laptop with me so I can listen to my own music. But there’s some terrible problem, and I can’t get the music working! Windows Media Player says it can’t access all of my files, which is bizarre. So I download WinAmp, copy the music to other locations, try Yahoo Radio, reboot multiple times — anything to drown this guy out, but nothing works. It’s a travesty and I can’t think!
Finally, after half an hour of screwing around and NOT writing, I figure out the driver problem, and I crank up the first song that plays: Sedated, by the Ramones. Ahh, sweet blessed peace. I start jamming along, banging my head and really being happy.
And that’s when I notice them. A group of four ‘tweenies, sitting in front of me, giggling. And one of them has a camera phone and is trying to casually hold it over the shoulder so he can video my inspired Ramones performance. The others are dying laughing and trying to discreetly help him point it the right way.
Not wanting to wind up on YouTube, I stop chair-dancing and just stare at the phone intensely. They quit taping me and act like it never happened.
That’s when I turn on the flashlight on my phone, lean over, and take this picture of the little bastards:
(Perpetrator in blue hoodie.) They immediately melt in mortified embarrassment. Giggling stops, whispering starts. Nobody can stand to look at me after that.
Suck on it, punks. I’m not thirty yet.
Just thought I would inform everyone that The Happy Greek, Columbus’ 2nd-best hummus provider, has again taken the prize for slowest possible hummus sale.Â A phone call to that jocular Mediterranean to order the famous food yielded no clue that the order was going to take a record 26 minutes to be prepared.Â Allegedly, the hummus is made while you wait.Â Oddly, though, when you order it at the dinner table it comes almost immediately.Â Why does this restaurant hate its loyal call-ahead customers, who don’t tie up the limited table space or bother the help?
As you may know, I recently had a few people around for a party and decided it would be a good idea to settle the question: who makes the best hummus in Columbus?Â Over twenty people voted and I tabulated the results.Â There’s something for everyone.Â Go to my Columbus hummus challenge page and see the results.
Every year, it falls to me to grouse and complain about the abuse of the public trust practiced by certain local candidates who seem to think they own the whole damn road.Â I’m not talking about the driving, I’m talking about their signs in the public right-of-way.
This year on May 23rd, I wrote to City Attorney Richard Pfeiffer to complain about violations of the Columbus City Code.Â The relevant section of code is 902.02 (a).
902.02 Obstructing sidewalks or streets.
(a) No person, regardless of intent, shall place, deposit, maintain, or use, or cause or permit to be placed, deposited, maintained, or used upon any street, alley, sidewalk, highway, or right-of-way any materials, containers, vending equipment, structures, appliances, furniture, merchandise, bench, stand, sign, or advertising of any kind, or any other similar device or obstruction except as authorized by the transportation administrator, as required by Chapter 903 of the Columbus City Code.
I did get a very nice and considerate voice mail, along with a suggestion to forward my letter to Public Safety Directory Henry Guzman, but neither of these guys has completely solved the problem.
I don’t drive very often, but I did happen to drive down Olentangy to dinner tonight and in a half-mile stretch, I saw signs from five different candidates!Â The offenders cluttering the public landscape were:
- Phill Harmon, unendorsed Republican
- Mary Jo Hudson, endorsed Democrat
- Jay Perez, endorsed Democrat
- Mike Rankin, endorsed Democrat
- Amy Salerno, endorsed Republican (Ms. Salerno is the winner of this tacky contest, having staked out seven signs on every corner of the intersection of Goodale and Olentangy River Road)
These signs collect all month, blowing all over the street, and then no one takes them down after the election.Â Public land belongs to everyone, and is not to be used to one candidate’s personal benefit.Â And may I remind my readers of the irony here, three of the above candidates openly violating city law and the public trust are running for judge?
Party and qualifications be damned.Â If you put up a sign on public property, you lose my vote.Â Let’s have a little dignity and respect for the process.
Cold update: It is now 13 degrees. You people continue to scarf up like it’s the killer London great smog of 1952. Have you no shame?
Urine update: The sign has been removed, but oddly, the pen is still there. I am so close to starting a community gossip web site.
It’s, er, 9 degrees F out right now. And let me tell you — I expected to put up with a lot of crap when I moved downtown, OK? — but I ain’t never seen so much frozen urine in all my life. And unfortunately, most of it is human.
Speaking of #2, the big gossip in the etymologically orphaned ConneXtions Lofts right now is the big sign on the bulletin board that reads, “I LIVE IN 308! I HAVE A DOG! MY DOG DOES NOT SHIT OUTSIDE BY THE PARKING LOT DOOR! YOU ARE RUINING IT FOR THE OTHER DOG OWNERS!” This has a pen attached and six signatories, basically all saying, “We agree! #60x” and “Amen to that! #30x” (Me, I put up a five page info packet on the fact that a neighboring historic building may be bulldozed to build us a blank wall to look at, and I get one lonely e-mail.)
A word of caution about the Happy Greek. A couple months ago, I got home late on a Sunday night and wanted to buy hummus. Unfortunately, I got to the restaurant about half an hour late, and even though they still had customers in there, the mean woman at the bar yelled at me and told me they were closed. She knew I wanted to buy the hummus! It’s $8.50 a pint! Take my money, please!
Tonight I bought some during dinner for take-away. Not only was I taxed on it, when the waitress brought it out, each pint was only about 2/3 full. Well, at these disgustingly high prices, I just had to send it back. When she came back (it certainly wasn’t her fault) she told me that the owner said it was correct, but he went ahead and added some more anyway.
Excuse me, but at $68 a gallon, you would think I could get the damn containers full, without the attitude and without the tax. I mean, it’s very good, but come on! Anyone else got a horror story?
In case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been over the last several months, I’m still here. Â Moving downtown has had the effect of joining the witness protection program.Â Add to that the fact that I now have a new Rival brand Crock-Pot Slow Cooker and I couldn’t be more home-bound.Â So here’s an update from Bill.
I got a parking ticket last week from the good folks at the City of Columbus Parking Violations Bureau. I realize I’m ruining any future political aspirations by admitting this in such a public forum, but I have to explain how it happened.Â The short version of this story is, the meters on the new 670 cap are enforced from 7am until 10pm on Saturdays, except for the fact that they’re not enforced from 4pm to 6pm.Â (Logical for a day that doesn’t have a rush hour, isn’t it?) Anyway, I tried to get out of it because I didn’t bother to read the sticker carefully and because the meters just a hundred feet away shut off at six, but it didn’t work and they sent me a nice all-caps letter telling me to pay up.Â Oh well — it was my mistake.Â Anyway, gentle reader, be careful parking on that bridge.
I have to give a shout out to the good people at the Mozilla Organization.Â I got their new Firefox browser and it is really good.Â In fact, it is the first web browser since Netscape 2.0 I’ve liked better than Internet Explorer.Â It’s based on the old Netscape code, in fact, so it’s nice to come full circle.Â They’re pitching it as a good alternative to the security nightmare that is Internet Explorer.Â Even if you don’t worry about that, though, it’s really fast, and it has tabbed browsing, great keyboard shortcuts, and this wicked cool orange fire logo.Â Best of all, Windows SP2 makes it pretty seamless to replace IE with Firefox.Â So, click this button, and if you like it, then, all right.
I feel compelled to discuss the recent dust-up in the papers about COTA and its last-ditch attempt to save its light rail dreams.Â This week, MORPC agreed to help COTA borrow $4 million for an environmental study on the line.Â At the same time, the Federal Transit Administration reminded us that its support for the COTA rail plan came with an expiration date, and the support ends soon because COTA never came up with the local matching funds to build the line.
COTA is therefore taking one step forward and one step back.Â Some of my friends, and some letter writers in the Dispatch, have suggested that we need to get this sales tax moving so that we can regain federal approval.Â Faithful friends and readers of mine will know nobody likes the idea of urban rail transport — or anything that supplements the highway in our cities — more than I do.Â But as I’ve been saying for years, COTA’s been so mismanaged that I just can’t support a tax increase until it cleans up its act.Â Firing the censured manager Ron Barnes was a great first step, but the agency has a lot more to do to rebuild the public confidence.Â How about starting with firing drivers who run red lights?Â And fixing the signs that still don’t make sense?Â How about a web site that works?Â When COTA takes basic steps such as these and improves its existing operations, I’ll be able to push for the tax increase.Â Until then, I vote no.
And finally, on a related issue, I believe it’s a mistake for COTA to depend on the sales tax to raise its revenues.Â Because a light rail system is a fixed, physical infrastructure improvement, and it does primarily benefit those landowners in the region of the corridor, the economically optimal funding source would be a property tax — say on those landowners within two miles of the route plus all of Downtown.Â This undercuts some of the legitimate argument of those who say they would never use the system and shouldn’t have to pay for it.Â (However, any decreases in air pollution would benefit the region as a whole, so there should be some way to recover that benefit through a more broad-based tax.)Â The other main argument I have with a sales tax is that it is regressive, which means the poor spend the largest share of their income meeting the burden of the tax, and the irony of that is that better transit service benefits the poor more than anyone else.Â The sales tax giveth away and taketh back.
The last COTA levy, which was countywide, predictably had its greatest support along the North High Street corridor and lowest support in the low-density south.Â The tax increase could have passed comfortably in certain quarters of the city.Â COTA should explore a funding mechanism, some kind of special district, that would put the cost on those who would use the service and who demonstrably wanted it the most.
I just witnessed Columbus City Council pass ordinance 1095-2004, which bans smoking in all public places. Businesses permitting violations of the law are subject to a $150 fine per offense. It takes effect in 90 days.
I went with Marc, which was quite a thrill, since he seems to know everyone in city government. We sat in the front row of the balcony, where a restless, wheezing, crusty crowd of lovelies wore matching T-shirts reading “KEEP OUR BUTTS INSIDE.” The stagnant environment up there only reinforced my desire for cleaner air.
After what seemed like not too much boring utility stuff, the ordinance came up for discussion. Charleta Tavares was barely two or three minutes into the reading when a man ten feet away from me on the balcony raised his hand. “I have a question!” he yelled. Then he started a shouting match with President Habash. Pretty soon a beefy policeman came by to talk with him. This got rather a lot of my attention, but I think I got the gist of what Tavares was saying.
They added a number of amendments to the proposed ordinance, which were asked for by the Council members, including an exemption for private clubs. Marc and I were a little confused about that, because the ordinance was sold as a worker safety issue, and we thought that was a pretty significant loophole. It turns out this refers to non-profit clubs only.
I can’t bore you with all the details, but I will share some highlights. When Tavares announced that private collections of ashtrays would be allowed in public places, the audience troublemaker, apparently confused, yelled, “This is bullshit!” and “You gonna have to take me out of here!” Which, sadly, the comely policeman had to do.
When Sensenbrenner voted no, he got a weary round of applause from the “butts” people, who knew they were going to lose. When it was announced that the amendment passed five to one, there was a serious cheer from the audience, including yours truly, who couldn’t help jumping to his feet like it was some kind of awesome play.
On the way out, we got into an argument with a guy who had been at the meeting speaking on how the Near East Side was getting short shrift. “Black men get killed a lot more often by guns than smoking, but you don’t hear about that. It’s hypocrisy.” I couldn’t help pointing out that smoking and shooting people are now both illegal. Then he said it was hypocritical that we still allow smoking in private homes. “I agree! Let’s ban that, too!” I taunted. “Bring it on!” (I was embarrassed to have appropriated a John Kerry slogan, but I hear it so often.)
And finally, as we left the building, we marched through a cloud of secondhand smoke spitefully produced by the ordinance’s opponents. Marc cutely began hacking up a storm. Unfortunately, the only retort they could come up with is unprintable here (but George W. Bush used it on the campaign trail in 2000).
As we walked past the man from the Libertarian Party, who did not offer us a bumper sticker, and past the signs reading “Hitler / Stalin / Charleta Tavares”, I couldn’t help getting deep whiffs of the sweet smell of democracy and the sharp scent of common sense. I hope I witnessed lasting history and, if you’ll allow it, felt the healthy winds of change in my city.
(Excitingly, the City’s web site on the ordinance was already updated with the correct vote count by the time I got home.)
I just read in the Dispatch that COTA has chosen not to go to the November ballot for more money. Ron Barnes is quoted as saying, “Let’s become efficient before we even talk about the levy.” This sounds good, and I’ve already been saying that if I had to vote on it today, I would oppose giving COTA any more money. That really hurts me to say, because I very strongly believe in the cities and in public transportation. But I have little confidence in the management today. They may say they need more money to do a better job, but there are plenty of free things they could be doing and they’re not.
Another letter from a COTA employee criticizing the management appeared this week in the paper also. I’ve been looking for a response to either letter, which I definitely welcome.
Also this week, one of my friends pointed out that not all of the maps were removed from the downtown bus shelters. Some stops, in fact, still have maps from 1998. That’s even worse than no map at all.
I feel bad, because I want this agency to succeed, so I’m uncomfortable being critical, but at the same time, I can’t very well just say that more money will solve everything.
Sometimes complaining isn’t only fun, it actually could get a little attention. I read a column by a man who had been on a COTA citizens’ advisory committee, who was disillusioned by the closing of the committee, and also by his view of COTA’s apparent perception of itself as an agency that provides useful transportation only to the poor and the disabled, ignoring hundreds of thousands of average people.
So I wrote a letter to the editor in response, and today the Dispatch printed it, at the top of the page, next to a cute little picture of a bus I think they drew just for me! They did only a tiny bit of editing. For my out-of-town readers, here is the edited version:
I couldn’t agree more with Michael Meckler’s recent Forum column in The Dispatch about the failure of the Central Ohio Transit Authority to see the full potential of its service.
In 2000, COTA announced its new Commuter Check program, which let employees receive part of their pay as tax-free transit vouchers. It’s a great deal for employees, employers and COTA. But in four years, COTA has not managed to bring the program to Nationwide, where I work Downtown with 7,000 other employees.
Nationwide, Downtown’s largest employer, told me it was too expensive to participate. COTA should be stepping up and covering some of the cost if that’s what it takes to attract this kind of ridership, but you don’t see this kind of initiative on the part of COTA.
Recently, Nationwide announced it would move 480 suburban employees Downtown. COTA should be at the suburban location every day, forcing bus schedules into the hands of anyone who walks by. This is a golden chance for them to easily target hundreds of new commuters, many of whom will have no idea where to park. The agency should be getting them on board from the very start, and offer anybody moving Downtown free rides for a month.
But COTA doesn’t seem to care about attracting new riders.
- Most buses seem to carry schedules for a route other than the one you’re on, or no schedules at all.
- Its Web site, even after a much-trumpeted redesign, is still awkward and hard to use.Â Try following its advice and typing “Broad and High” into the trip planner. You’ll get a list of 44 different choices; Broad and High is 11th on the list. And they finally added maps of all routes only recently.
- They ripped out the maps from all of the Downtown bus stops years ago and replaced them with useless, broken digital displays.
I know that some people, against all odds, do take the initiative to track down maps and schedules, find their bus stop and become regular riders. But it’s too rare. More often, I hear stories like Meckler’s, that he tried to stick with it for years but finally gave up.
COTA is like a cult in reverse: Nobody can come in and everybody leaves.