Downtown Residents Lose Minds Over New Bus Stop Because Crime

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The transit island being built on Lawrence and 18th apparently will attract criminals. Photo: David Sachs

Two people who live at the IsBell Lofts downtown are rabid over a new bus stop near their building, because they think it will attract criminals or something.

Here’s more from Fox31, which for some reason gave credence to their complaints by covering it:

Residents of the IsBell Lofts at 1800 Lawrence St. woke up Monday to the clamor of construction. It was the first sign of what would be coming outside their door — and they are not happy about it.

The city of Denver is building what’s called a transit island because buses will no longer be able to pull up to the curb because of new protected bicycle lanes.

The project is supposed to make it safer for pedestrians, but residents wonder if it’s at their expense.

“RTD is moving a bus stop from midblock to literally right in front of our front door. And they’re creating a huge island platform for this stop. For unknown reasons, evidently a bench was not sufficient,” said Kay Coulson, an IsBell resident for about one year.

Residents worry the island could bring crime in the neighborhood even closer.

“Now there is a valid reason for people to loiter in front of the building. It may attract people who are not necessarily riding the bus, but now have an excuse to stand there,” IsBell resident Tom Fagan said.

Okay then. If the thought of people gathering in public frightens you, maybe you should not be living in a city.

But let’s get back to Coulson’s confusion — the “unknown reasons” for building a transit island, also known as a floating bus stop, at the corner of 18th and Lawrence. This is not a great mystery.

For one, it gives people a safe haven to hop on and off the bus without conflicting with the protected bike lane. It also lets the bus pick up and drop off passengers without pulling in and out of traffic, saving time. The city moved the bus stop closer to the corner, as Fox31 reported, to give people easier access to the crosswalk, which should discourage crossing mid-block. Plus the current bus stop is sandwiched between two surface parking lots with cars constantly going in and out.

In other words, the changes happening on Lawrence Street will allow the public to bike, walk, and take transit through downtown in a safer and more efficient manner.

To Coulson and others in Denver, rearranging the public right of way to work better for the public is somehow an affront to their private property. “If it can happen to our building, it’s going to happen to other buildings in downtown Denver,” Coulson told Fox31. Except nothing happened to her building. Something happened to the street, which belongs to everyone.

  • gojoblogo

    Unbelievable. Baseless fears that you would expect from a suburban dweller not accustomed to city living but very bizarre from urban residents living where there was ALREADY a bike lane and bus line. No big change, just improvement.

    I sincerely hope that improved bike facilities and more convenient transit “happens” to my building!

  • Russell

    What’s worse is that these people are not simply residents of “a city”, or an “urban area”. The Denver neighborhood they live in is literally named “CBD”! They reside in the downtown, commercial business district of a major American city and they seem to think that bus stops and transit infrastructure don’t belong on their block.

    We have come to expect (and at times even understand) this sort of ignorant, transit-phobic hysteria from residents in neighborhoods farther afield, but if you live at 18th and Lawrence and you have a problem with bus stops, then you really ought to shut up and move to Highlands Ranch. You will never see a bus and no one will ever loiter outside your home. I promise.

    I’m optimistic for the future of multi-modal transit in Denver, but stories like this make me realize how much work will need to be done.

  • Walter Crunch

    I am a white person and I am mad! About “those” people.

  • ColoNick

    I would love a bus stop in front of my house.

  • HumanInDenver

    I can only imagine how bad these same residents lost their minds when a 7-11 opened in their building

    • Annie Mous

      I live in isbel, and they were/are soooo salty.

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