After Gwen posted her fascinating discussion of the way that people who are reliant on public transportation are inconvenienced or isolated (based on photos sent in by Lynne Shapiro), David F. sent a link to an article in The Columbus Dispatch about the public transportation in downtown Columbus. Downtown developers, it reports, oppose a plan by the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) to build a transfer station. The reporter writes:
Downtown developers have complained that COTA passengers waiting for transfers near Broad and High streets, and buses lining the curbs make the area less attractive for retail stores and their customers.
Translation: no one wants to see buses and the people who ride them.
Because, you see, when the buses stop there, those kind of people are there waiting for the bus:
(Image at Google)
One of these developers, Cleve Ricksecker, explains:
Transit-dependent riders who are going through Downtown, for whatever reason, don’t shop… Large numbers of people waiting for a transfer can be intimidating for someone walking down the sidewalk.
Translation: People who buy things want to be protected from knowing about and interacting with people who are too poor to buy things.
Much better to make life more difficult for people who ride the bus.Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions, with Myra Marx Ferree. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.