Can a bus stop be pretty?
For three days this week, a bus stop in Everett was bedecked liked a wedding trellis in summer, with sprays of dahlias, roses and other bright flowers ringing the otherwise bland shelter. Installed by local artist Krissy Price, the flowers were in place between Tuesday and Thursday, a “quick hit” experiment to improve the image of the bus stop, said Everett transportation planner Jay Monty.
“The idea was to make the bus stop a place you want to spend time, interact with your neighbors at, and bring more people to transportation,” he said. The city is considering other ways to spruce up the stop in the future, including opening an ice cream stand nearby.
The stop has already received a lot of attention lately. It’s along a corridor that has a designated lane to allow buses to bypass general traffic. Earlier this summer, officials also built up the sidewalk to create a new, high-level bus platform that makes it easier for riders to board.
With no train service, Monty said Everett has embraced buses as the best way to improve transit in the city. The city is working with the Barr Foundation, a Boston nonprofit, to improve bus service on its streets.
“We can’t wait 10 years, 15 years, 20 years for a major transit solution. We need to figure out something now,” he said, noting rapid development in the city highlighted by the Encore Boston Harbor casino. “The streets, are something we own and can change on our own terms, and we’re going to continue to work with the T to leverage that.”