Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Best and Worst of the Week

Best: Catenary poles and catenary wire-holder-thingamabobs. Can we pause for a moment and look at how good those tapered, tubular, Saint-Paul-Brown catenary poles look? Details matter. (I apologize to those of you that ride Hiawatha everyday and will never look be able to look at your galvanized i-beams the same way.) Special thanks to the traffic engineer who strategically placed that arrow for this photo.

Worst/best: A bus shelter on a cold, rainy day. So awkward. So clammy. And yet, such a sight for sore eyes. There's kind of a strange camaraderie among a bunch of half-soaked grumpy people who need to share a tiny space. And if there's not, some group venting about the bus being late usually does the trick. Everyone loves to hate on a late bus!

Best: Lumbermobile. Something that is so bizarrely American is this idea that cars are irreplaceable. A world without a roof rack? Gasp! I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard something like, "transit is great, but nobody is going to take the bus/train to Menards to buy lumber." You know what? They actually do. Take a seat, haters.

(I should say - Menards is a true superstore and sells virtually everything. We have a game trying to guess things they don't sell - it's impossible. Pudding? Coloring books? Deodorant? Flameless candles? The magic bullet? Hot pink zebra duct tape? It turns out all these things fit on transit! And here we had just written off customers in the Central Corridor shopping for things smaller than a breadbox.)

Worst: Parking fail. Failure. Failed. Fail.

Best: Granite Pavers (aka Paver Watch 2012). From deep below the streets of Saint Paul - reclaimed granite and sandstone pavers are now being reinstalled in the medians of the Raymond historic district. There's more to this design coming east of Raymond...wait for it...

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