Skimpy Station Shelters
at Future Stops?
We hope that what is being designed here in Charlotte is not a copy of light rail shelters in Southern California. What we are seeing in some of the illustrations reminds us of San Diego and Sacramento. While Charlotte's climate is milder than most northern cities, it does get cold and windy in the winter and better protection needs to be provided than is necessary in those semi-tropical climates. We need good wind breaks and canopies that actually protect people from rain and snow. Even the fancy bus shelters on the Tryon Street Mall apparently failed to do the job and they look about as substantial as some of the graphics we are seeing for our future light rail shelters.
If not enough money has been budgeted to do a more thorough job of building better shelters we need to look at ways to find the funding. One possibility might come from the $30 million saved if Pineville makes the unwise decision to reject light rail. It would also be possible to add improved shelters at a later date, but it would also be less expensive and disruptive to do it now. Doing it later would also start off customer relations on a bad note.
We trust that what we are seeing is in fact "preliminary" and that careful consideration will be given to the protection of the riding public. Even though trains will be spaced no more than 15 minutes apart, it could still be a long wait in the pouring rain or freezing cold.