Cement slab at bus stop gives no shelter

WATCH DOG

July 15, 2008|By LIZ F. KAY

THE PROBLEM A Northeast Baltimore bus shelter that was damaged in an accident has not been replaced.

THE BACKSTORY Edna Bedford lives near Cedonia and Radecke avenues in Baltimore and regularly uses the No. 5 bus that stops there for, in her words, "everything."

Whether she's heading to church, the supermarket, or to get her medicine, Bedford takes the bus.

That's why she was so distressed after hearing secondhand that a car had run up on the sidewalk several weeks ago and struck the bus shelter that protected her and other passengers from the elements.

The damaged shelter, which sat on the southwest corner of the intersection, had been removed, she said. Only a concrete pad remains. And there were no signs that it would be replaced.

Bedford said she called the Maryland Transit Administration several times, "but they never called me back." So, she picked up the phone to call Watchdog instead, and she wrote a letter to follow up.

"There is nowhere for bus riders to sit, especially senior citizens like me," Bedford wrote in her note. "If it rains, there is nowhere one can go to get shelter."

Watchdog reached Bedford last week, just before she left for another bus trip.

Because the bus stop is near Moores Run Park, there are no businesses or other locations where waiting riders can seek shelter.

"It's all open," she said. "Yesterday, it saddened my heart because people were sitting on the ground."

MTA spokeswoman Jawauna Greene said the replacement would be part of a larger effort to replace aging bus shelters throughout the metropolitan area.

The transit administration has joined with CBS Outdoor, an advertising company, to fix or refurbish shelters.

In some areas, the company decides it doesn't make good business sense to put up a shelter. In those cases, the MTA installs a bench, she said.

But seniors and other passengers at Cedonia and Radecke will have a shelter someday.

"Because it's a high-traffic area, we're looking to put that back," Greene said.

Just when the shelter would reappear depends on the availability of funds, she said.

WHO CAN FIX THIS Jawauna Greene, MTA office of communications. 410-767-3936

UPDATE

The broken pipe at Robert E. Lee Park has been repaired, said Daniel Pugatsky of Pikesville. He had contacted Watchdog after his phone call to the city's 311 help line about water gushing from a path near the park entrance went unanswered for nearly a week, he said. The water was turned off as of last week, he said, and now the gaping hole where the repair was made has been filled in.

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