Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shelters for the Trolley Riders

On the MLK Holiday, Lextran and Art in Motion cut the ribbon on their first artistically designed bus shelter the Bottlestop, in front of the LFUCG campus on Versailles Rd.

AIM's website shows that they are planning to do more "art stops" in the near future.
East End Shelter
Newtown Pike Art Shelter
Euclid Avenue Art Shelter
The two preceding facts combined with the discussion of "branding" for the circulator trolley could lead to some serious thoughts about bus stops in the downtown area. I don't think that anyone is giving it much thought now, so I went on the trail to see if I could find just something.

The current version of the Lexington Streetscape Master Plan has very little about the bus stops in the downtown and only lists a few locations for stops to be considered. They are:
145 East Main Street across the street from the Police Station.
Main Street at Cheapside in front of the Court House.
333 W Main Street.
200 W Vine Street in front of PNC Bank.
The Streetscape Plan does call for the new bus stops to be of the art type, but other than this there is very little said. The draft Downtown Masterplan says absolutely nothing.

Once again it appears that mass transit, in the form of Lextran, is left to the mercy of the current riders and given no incentive to prepare for any new ones. Even in the context of "complete streets", where pedestrians and cyclists are well cared for, the lowly transit rider is not mentioned. Is it possible that with the restoration of the circulator trolleys, that the branding could in some way lead to an art stop in one of these proposed places?

From what I have been told, the branding will run along the lines of "The Colt". This seems simple enough, a colt is a young male horse, something that will grow up to be a mature animal someday. (maybe there is hope for a real streetcar someday.) There are some statues in Thoroughbred Park of some colts, the ones frolicking on the hill, the one of the baby near Main St. the one of Lexington near Short and the ones driving for greatness at the finish line. What this park doesn't have is an art bus stop.

If what I proposed here the other day could be built upon, this would be either the start or the finish of the entertainment loop, and what would be better than a Colt branded, art type, bus stop. As I think of it now, this could be difficult to do or it could be simple. I doubt that we could get Gwen Reardon to donate her talents to help design a stop, but something along that line is not totally out of the question. This will go a long way toward making up for the lack of public art which I posted about back in November. There are other equine artists working in bronze . Seeing as how the Triangle Foundation own the park, could we approach them for a little assistance.

What about a challenge to some of the famous horse owners to have a design for their top thoroughbred, for a series of stop progressing down Main St. (and maybe some Standardbreds along Short)?

I have shown disdain for this in the past and still believe that we as Lexington can do better, do more, for the mass transit starved people of Central Kentucky, but if I can put forth these ideas as an opponent what are the proponents putting forth? Where is our "creative class" in such an artistic endeavor?

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