Last week, I summoned up my courage to take both kids with me on the bus. We are lucky to have a bus line very close by (exceedingly lucky, if you look at how little of this area is covered by bus), and for my own sanity, I needed to get out of the house and give the bus-with-two-young-children thing a test run. With the baby in her wrap and the toddler pushing his own stroller, we set off.
The ride itself was relatively pleasant, as the driver and other passengers were indulgent and even doting to my little brood (two kids are nothing to write home about here). By the time I disembarked, I was feeling rather proud of myself for being so clever and resourceful... no sitting at home watching Sesame Street for us! It was at this point, as we were getting off the bus, that I realized there was a) no sidewalk, only a muddy, grassy curb between the road and a railroad track, and b) no crosswalk to get to our destination, in spite of its being directly across the street. The closest crosswalks were a good half mile in either direction. Hmm.
Why, one might well wonder, did the transit authority see fit to place a bus stop directly across the road from a shopping area, but with no crosswalk to get there? Is this particular stop actually intended for hobos getting on and off the freight trains that occasionally pass by? Or, more likely, did no one give a moment's thought to who might be getting off at this stop, and why? Struggling to push my stroller through grass and mud to the nearest intersection, where I would study the traffic light timing until I could jaywalk least dangerously, I imagined it was probably the latter. The goal of this particular shopping area is clearly to get cars, not people, into the stores as quickly and efficiently as possible.