StarTran Goes Fencing

August 14, 2013 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

In her column this morning, Nancy Hicks let us know that StarTran will soon replace a chain link fence at the bus stop at 11th and N with something more attractive. That sounds great, except for one thing: why is there a fence in the first place?

image

As you can see, the existing fence isn’t particularly attractive. But more importantly, it’s not at all clear what purpose the fence serves. I suppose it’s intended to have some sort of “corralling” effect, as well as to provide a visual cue differentiating “this” space from “that” space. The visual component is somewhat justifiable, although trying to accomplish it with a chain link fence is hilariously misguided. The corralling, on the other hand, is offensive and dehumanizing. Considering what many Lincolnites think about the average bus rider I guess that’s not surprising.

Given StarTran’s public image and financial troubles, does replacing the fence make any sense whatsoever? Without an obvious and imminent need I don’t see how it does. StarTran has oodles of needs and wants. A fence without a purpose hardly seems worth the fuss. Sure, the money is (mostly) coming from the Federal Transit Administration, but one would hope that other projects more directly related to transportation or passenger comfort would likewise be eligible for FTA funds. For example: take a look at the shelters in the above photo and elsewhere around town. A little money could do them a lot of good.

This is precisely the sort of project that gets people riled up about government waste. A government entity built an apparently unnecessary fence that violates the entity’s own rules, then compounds the problem by taking it out and replacing it with something even more expensive and equally unnecessary. It’s pretty tough to blame folks for being frustrated about something like that.

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The Comments

Karin Dalziel August 14, 2013 at 3:09pm

I remember when the fence went in (I walked by there every day at that time) and thinking “what the hell??” That area could use a lot of work, but the fences aren’t helping. I never could figure out what purpose the fences served anyway.  So bizarre.

Dave K August 15, 2013 at 1:46am

This is hilarious.  The things I miss about downtown Lincoln ...

(Mr W.—am I the only one not able to log in?  I click on ‘Login’ at the top and it seems to just refresh the page ... ?)

Mr. Wilson August 15, 2013 at 2:12pm

Nope, not just you. Lots of features are wonky at the moment. I’m in the midst of a complete redevelopment of the site.

Just Thinkin' August 15, 2013 at 6:14pm

Is that the bus stop time out for naughty people?

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