Transit Services Advisory Committee

Recommendations

For The Bay View ArtStop

Crime prevention depends on surveillance. And natural surveillance is a huge asset, when available. ArtStop would erect a barrier to the public’s ability to watch.

To: Milwaukee County Board and the Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee

Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic, Supervisors Deanna Alexander, Mark Borkowski, David Bowen, Gerry P. Broderick, David Cullen, Jason Haas, Nikiya Q. Harris, Willie Johnson, Jr., Patricia Jursik, Theodore Lipscomb, Sr., Michael Mayo, Sr., Peggy Romo West, Joe Sanfelippo, James “Luigi” Schmitt, Russell W. Stamper II, Steve F. Taylor, John F. Weishan, Jr.

To: Common Council, City of Milwaukee

Common Council President, Willie L. Hines, Jr., Alderpersons Ashanti Hamilton, Joe Davis, Sr., Nik Kovac, Robert J. Bauman, James A. Bohl, Jr. , Milele A. Coggs, Willie C. Wade, Robert G. Donovan, Robert W. Puente, Michael J. Murphy, Joe Dudzik, José G. Pérez, Terry L. Witkowski, Tony Zielinski

Cc: Mr. Lloyd Grant, Jr., Managing Director Milwaukee County Transit Services; Michael Giugno, Deputy Director

Date: November 9, 2012

SAFETY AND FUNCTIONALITY - THE BAY VIEW ART STOP

The TSAC is Charged [Appendix 3] by Milwaukee County Board of Directors to give wide ranging advice to the Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee on bus service, including “safety issues,” “shelter locations and improvements,” and “proposed bus stop changes.”

On April 12, 2012, at the first public hearing on the ArtStop competition, the TSAC learned that no bus rider was consulted in the ArtStop development process - neither by the Planning Committee nor by the artists and architects. Roman Montoto won with a design called Urban Posturing.

The winning design was reviewed by the TSAC with the Chair of the Art Stop Planning Committee and Mr. Montoto, an architect. Members of the TSAC identified concerns for bus riders.

The TSAC Charge from the County Board [Appendix 3] calls upon us as bus riders to bring our concerns to the decision makers. And so we present this document in keeping with our Charge.

“While the design does achieve the goal of providing a notable gateway feature, it does so at the expense of the safety and convenience of the transit user, whom this is ostensibly designed to serve.” —Carr, expert on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)

The TSAC wishes first to express gratitude to the nine-member Planning Committee, Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic, Alderman Tony Zielinski, architect Mr. Roman Montoto, and to all of the 15 artists or groups that submitted proposals to the Planning Committee. Anyone dedicating time and energy to assist our struggling bus system deserves to be singled out for trying to improve one of Milwaukee’s greatest assets, its public transportation. A great community bus shelter will come out of a great community effort; and a great County will move forward accordingly.

Aerial View - Urban Posturing


MONTOTO, pg 5

The TSAC Recommendations:

Americans with Disabilities Act, Requirements

Certify the ArtStop design as conforming to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In August of 2011 Milwaukee County Transit System officials provided the Art Stop Planning Committee with the federal ADA requirements. [Appendix 1, TSAC Timeline]

However, the need to observe the federal Americans with Disabilities Act did not appear in the Planning Committee’s Request for Proposal, nor was it mentioned at the public hearing of April 12 by either the Planning Committee, or in the presentations by the three finalists or the alderman.

In the words of a distinguished advocate for persons with disabilities: “As the [ArtStop] structure is built in the public right away, I believe that it is a Title II-ADA covered issue. In addition, a portion of the funds, it was my understanding, may have derived from publicly controlled sources. Even if this were a Title III-Private issue and not a Title II-Governmental issue, as a new construction I believe it is necessary to be designed as accessible. So, it is not only a good thing to do, I believe it is absolutely the legally required thing to do.” —Don Natzke, Director, (County) Office For Persons With Disabilities.

Transparency and Safety Recommendations - Crime Prevention


MONTOTO, pg 16

Crime prevention depends on surveillance. And natural surveillance is a huge asset, when available. ArtStop would erect a barrier to the public’s ability to watch.

“This intersection is rich in natural surveillance with active commercial land uses on every side, however this design fails to make use of this benefit.

“Surveillance is compromised mainly by the opaque walls that obstruct rather than accommodate visibility for both seeing and being seen.” (Carr)

The TSAC recommends transparent ArtStop walls.

Tall stand-alone concrete walls are rare in urban spaces. Contemporary buildings maintain street-level plate glass windows, generating a feeling of openness and welcome. Visibility allows the passerby “ownership” of a space.

TSAC members question the priority of a “monumental” structure over that of a safe space. The design appears to many to be “artful” but a bus shelter’s basic, low cost needs can be met safely and artistically. A well designed urban space invites everyone inside. (See Appendix 4, “What makes an urban space attractive?”)

Simpler may be safer - a chorus of Bay View neighbors speaks out: (App. 4).

An effective design will draw people into the space; a gathering of pedestrians make urban spaces safe. The ability of people in vehicles to see pedestrians makes urban spaces safe.

Safety is paramount.


MONTOTO, pg 5-TEXT ADDED

The more that people can see, the safer the space. Consider the person alone, waiting in place, unable to see others who may be nearby. This design presents us with two concrete walls, one 9 feet tall, the other 7 feet, that extend over a large percentage of the small triangle and create dark corners. This is a risk that planners are asking others to bear.

Restructure south shelter to avoid a lurker’s haven. Utility boxes need not create dangerous hiding places.

Avoid blocked sight-lines of any kind but especially near spaces where people wait alone.

Utility box problem? Use the boxes rather than hide them. Another city mounts maps, photos, art:
http://www.ddaftl.org/view/pdf/PRutilityboxwraps0312.pdf These treatments draw people in the space.

Bus drivers have concerns about ArtStop shelter safety. They comment:

Operators like to be able to see people in a bus shelter as they are approaching the stop, especially at night.

The tall concrete walls also present a problem for operators looking for people at the stop.

Passengers getting off the bus would like to be able to see if there are people at the stop - for their safety too.

Looking at the above graphic, a driver commented: “This is a mess waiting to happen.”

With the walls, what cannot be seen?


Approximation. View north from Alterra. Seven-foot high wall in Montoto design cuts out view of activity north of the triangle. Riders waiting for the bus are not visible to pedestrians looking south.


Approximation. View east. Nine-foot high wall in Montoto design will cut out view of people to the east of the ArtStop wall, and hide riders waiting for the bus from the pedestrians and the vehicles on Kinnickinnic Avenue. Apartment/Condo residents on second floor will not see activity on the west side of this wall.

First, do no harm.

CPTED guidelines in References below for principles of crime prevention.

Shelter Recommendation - Wind, Rain and Economy Seating


MONTOTO, pg 14-TEXT ADDED

WIND. Move west-wind barrier to protect the entire south facing shelter.


MONTOTO, WEST pg 15-TEXT ADDED

WIND. Add west-wind break to west-facing shelter.


MONTOTO, pg 14, 17-TEXT ADDED

RAIN. Close the roof gaps of both shelters. Make roofs wider and longer to completely cover both shelter spaces.

Both shelters. Wind-blown rain should not enter at the top through skimpy roofs and unnecessary openings in the walls.

Prepare for rain, protect our passengers; bus shelters can be economical and appealing, both.

Riders expressed concern for the build up of snow - both sliding off the sloping roofs, and collecting underfoot and around the benches.

Experienced rider: “Wet metal benches are easier to wipe off than concrete.”

WIND, RAIN. A modestly functional design would be a horseshoe, 360 degrees transparent, with partially closed south walls, and wind protection from all four directions.


“HORSESHOE” SHAPE KINNICKINNIC-MITCHELL BUS SHELTER ON TRIANGLE.

Three winter winds (north, east, west) are predictably worse than a south wind. South-facing openings are generally best in this climate. A horseshoe-shaped structure can provide a practical winter-wind break and give full visibility to all 8 arriving bus routes.

Seating Recommendations


MONTOTO, pg 14-TEXT ADDED

South facing shelter needs more bench. Montoto’s design sees the utility boxes as a problem; the boxes can be an asset.

Montoto’s Urban Posturing crowds the bench against the utility boxes and surrounds them with bushes - creating a stalker’s corner. The TSAC recommends that we open up the view to the utility boxes and use their fixed location as an asset.
There are 18 feet of turf west of the utility box platform. So the TSAC recommends we extend the bench 18 feet more toward the front of the stopped bus. Montoto’s design would put waiting passengers at the rear of the stopped bus.

Make the backside of the full-length shelter transparent.

Montoto’s south shelter design has a low capacity - comparable to the smallest MCTS shelter. Since bus ridership is growing, increase sitting capacity for this already-busy transfer point. Look to the future; passenger traffic and Bay View pedestrian traffic will grow.

Today, 430 weekday buses stop to discharge or pick up passengers on this intersection. Making the stop useful to all will encourage more people to use these buses. A missed opportunity to build ridership can be expensive down through the years.

Design Recommendation


MONTOTO, pg 14-TEXT ADDED

Southbound Routes 52, 15 are not served. Add a shelter.

The benches in the south shelter face south and away from a view of the two arriving bus routes; buses would arrive behind the sheltered passenger.


MONTOTO, pg 5-TEXT ADDED

Redo design to include City-approved vegetation.

The chair of the ArtStop Planning Committee reported to the TSAC that trees cannot be planted on that triangle because of the underground electrical systems that control the intersection’s utilities. Identify appropriate vegetation. Plants are not cosmetics but an integral part of a healthy urban space.


Moving Forward - Adding Value to the Intersection

Is the west-facing “Green Line” shelter needed?

This is now a bus stop without a bus.

The northbound Green Line stop has been moved back to its pre-construction location alongside Alterra on the SE corner of Lincoln and Howell.

Use this shelter space for amenities that appeal to all pedestrians. (App. 4)

“Form follows function.”

The omission of this well-known principle of design has been a source of concern expressed by many.

Some see in Urban Posturing a clever but anxious preoccupation with one obtuse angle derived from the meeting of Howell and Kinnickinnic Avenues.

Others anticipate the damage that will be done to the wide-open feeling that is so attractive to this intersection. The sunny feeling (that we now enjoy) knits the four distinct urban spaces together into a world class urban place.

Light and openness today give this intersection its safe and friendly personality.

Weighty concrete violates the natural light available.

Many have noted that the concrete walls are breaking up sight-lines, adding anxiety to waiting alone. The design revives the memory of a voice from the past about another menacing city wall: “Tear down that wall,” R. Reagan.

Why build walls? Whom are we keeping out?

Let pedestrians mix in public spaces.

Why divide up the appeal of a public space?

Why hide one population of pedestrians in this six point intersection from another population?

Pedestrians like to see other pedestrians - it is the most natural, the lowest cost, and maybe the most effective crime prevention guideline. (See CPTED, references below.)

Bay View has a precious opportunity to create a friendly, walkable commercial intersection serving neighbors and attracting visitors.

Daily, an abundance of pedestrians could make this triangle “monumental.” It is the gathering of people that will shape the future of Bay View.

How have other cities met similar challenges?

The Downtown Development Authority in Fort Lauderdale has found a way to make utility boxes attractive and to draw in pedestrians, reducing the likelihood of lurking.
Renovating an urban place can be done at low cost and gradually. See http://www.urban-advantage.com/ Check out the site’s simple definition of urbanism, images of transformed intersections, publications; the images are slides shows of gradual changes.

A recent essay points to successful transit design that specifically invites nonpassengers to the space. http://www.planetizen.com/node/58529

Though the examples in Planetizen are large scale, the same principle holds. If the site is attractive, more than the bus riders will be drawn to use it appropriately. None of these designs uses standalone concrete walls. And now urban buildings everywhere are using transparent material to make walking space appealing. In a small urban space there is hardly sufficient elbow room to make concrete walls functional or safe. They simply are not used to decorate open spaces in cities, for good reason.

CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) is a set of standards by which urban spaces are designed to deter criminal behavior. (See CPTED, references below.)

In Los Angeles, a web site makes thoughtful suggestions for upgrading individual spaces. http://lani.org/projects.htm


The Next Steps

The TSAC requests that planners design shelters that are safe, attractive and economical for bus riders, with amenities that will make this triangle an attractive sitting place for all.

The TSAC is available to the ArtStop Planning Committee, as well as to any citizen. This is our Charge from the Milwaukee County Government, and we wish to be helpful.

Finally, if Mr. Montoto’s design is updated the TSAC requests an opportunity to review it again. Our most recent copy was received from Mr. Montoto on July 12, 2012.


APPENDIX 1

ARTSTOP-TSAC DEVELOPMENT TIMELINE

Summer, 2011: ArtStop Planning Committee appointed by Alderman Tony Zielinski. http://bayviewcompass.com/archives/8665

August 10, 2011: Bill Locher of MCTS email to Kerry Yandell, ArtStop Planning Committee Chair, with specific ADA requirements detailed in five documents. [Appendix 2]

September 27, 2011: ArtStop RFP announced to the public, http://bayviewcompass.com/archives/8665.

January 6, 2012: Proposal deadline for submissions to the Planning Committee.

January 20, 2012: Three finalists chosen by the Planning Committee. See http://bayviewcompass.com/archives/10073, February 1, 2012.

April 12, 2012: Public hearing. The three finalists present their designs to the public. Mr. Montoto’s presentation is notably dark, with a filler music interfering with what the public could hear him say. One TSAC member learns at this hearing that not a single bus rider was involved in the ArtStop process.

April, 2012: Roman Montoto’s Urban Posturing selected by the Planning Committee as the winner of the competition.

July 12, 2012: Upon request of the TSAC Chair, Mr. Montoto makes his presentation file available to TSAC for viewing on a computer.

July 12, 2012: TSAC monthly meeting, 2 pm. Kerry Yandell and Roman Montoto attend and answer bus rider questions about the safety and functionality of Mr. Montoto’s selected design. The visual presentation (a PDF on a laptop) is available, but dark. The question is laid over to the next meeting.

September 13, 2012: TSAC monthly meeting. Draft wording of a resolution discussed; members view details of design; matter laid over to next meeting. TSAC will prepare a document ready for presentation to the County Board’s TPTW Committee.

October, 2012: Northbound Green Line bus stop moved to SE corner of Howell and Lincoln.

October 11, 2012: TSAC monthly meeting. Draft of Recommendations is discussed, amended. Resolution adopted to make recommendations to improve safety and functionality of the proposed ArtStop bus shelter.


APPENDIX 2

Forwarded message ----------------------

From: “Bill Locher” <btlocher@mcts.org>
To: <kerry@byostudio.com>
Cc:
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2011 09:16:03 −0500
Subject: Art Stop Committee

Hi Kerry,

It was a pleasure meeting with you and hearing about your plans for a creative gateway to beautiful Bay View. It is refreshing to have Transit included in these plans. Attached are the documents that describe the ADA and bus requirements. Hope this provides a good start. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Best Regards,

Bill

William Locher
Manager of Administration
Safety and Training
Milwaukee County Transit System
1942 N 17th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53205
414.937.3217
btlocher@mcts.org

5 attachments — Download all attachments

Passenger pad and Shelter Space Requirements.pdf
13K View Download

Bus Stop Dimensions.pdf
16K View Download

Bus stops on islands.pdf
1063K View Download

passenger pad & shelter diagram.pdf
73K View Download

ADA Passenger pad diagram.pdf
30K View Download


APPENDIX 3

TRANSIT SERVICES ADVISORY COMMITTEE CHARGE

The Transit Services Advisory Committee (TSAC) is composed of bus riders and a driver, appointed by the Chairwoman of the Milwaukee County Board to advise the County government, the County Board’s Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee, and Milwaukee County Transit Services on all issues that may improve or maintain our County’s transit services.

TSAC CHARGE

  1. Look at how to make bus system more attractive to riders (route changes, route information, negative perceptions, safety issues, etc.)
  2. Identify underserved populations and what can be done to more adequately serve them.
  3. Develop a thorough understanding of how the bus system works in all its key elements: bus routes, regular bus service, bus transfer policy, freeway flyer service, special event bus service, bus safety and policy issues, bus acquisition and maintenance, transit center operations, etc.
  4. Consider how to develop a network for distributing information about transit services, and answers to transit questions, to different groups.
  5. Address charge of resolution: make recommendations on: route changes, service modifications, long range plan updates, major and new project development, shelter location and improvements, headway changes greater than 5 minutes, PR campaigns and events, proposed bus stop changes, fare changes, and hear and review public comments.
  6. Weigh in on other transit policy matters, including the issue of dedicated funding.


APPENDIX 4

What makes an Urban Space Attractive (and Safe)?

These ideas come from Bay View neighbors in discussions on-line since May, 2011.

Amy, an avid rider says: “They should just replicate the Alterra Bus Stop and put a garden there.” (Facebook, Bay View Townhall) Others:

  • benches
  • solid (perhaps concrete) tables to expand al fresco eating at the intersection
  • use utility boxes as frames for temporary art from artists of all ages; perhaps contests among students for a coveted placement. http://www.ddaftl.org/view/pdf/PRutilityboxwraps0312.pdf
  • an old-fashioned (working) bubbler
  • a doggie bag station.

Chris Krochalk: (May 12) Good reporting by the Bay View Compass: http://bayviewcompass.com/archives/7187 This is such a complicated intersection and high profile location for our neighborhood - I’m really interested to see more details. My wish list for that intersection would include:

  • I would like to see priority given to the pedestrian
  • wider sidewalks, cross walk bump outs, narrower roads … help people move about and cross these streets
  • more sidewalk space for outdoor seating for Lulu, Riviera Maya, GTO, Cafe Centraal, etc. [some of these amenities from neighbors’ suggestions are now in place]
  • less concrete in the traffic triangles
  • better defined space for bicycles, bike boxes at the various intersections
  • public bicycle parking incorporated in the traffic triangles. The standard rusted out City installed racks are blight (in my opinion)
  • it would be great to better utilize this under utilized space in the triangles for semi sheltered bicycle parking
  • similar to what Crank Daddy’s did on the East Side - better looking bus shelters

(May 12) Good point Mr. Lavelette— why a private meeting?? Isn’t everyone from downtown to points south that use this route going to be affected? Looks like a year project of demolition and construction, with alot of folks being impacted, from commuters, to bikes, pedestrians, bus riders, etc., etc. I suppose a small meeting will suit the “meeting holders” needs, and result in controlling the outcome of the project to their liking! Oh the wonders of accommodating those who are connected to City government officials! —Echo Anderson

(May 12) [responding to Krochalk] Excellent ideas to enrich this neighborhood. The design should encourage people to walk, catch a bus, and negotiate bus transfers among the many corners. Parking should be easy, but not paramount. As long as the area is walking friendly a driver is not going to need to park “in front” of just one business. I wish the DCD would convene a citizen’s review panel so we can make suggestions from our point of view. I am unable to visualize the change based on the description in the Compass. I hope it’s not a done deal, as I am not sure at this point that your suggestions are even part of the discussion. —Bill Sell

(May 20) I believe that this is just an FYI meeting to the business owners in the area who are impacted by the changes. There still should be a public hearing on this. —Zak Williams

(May 20) That is a true loss that the design doesn’t seem to have invited or involved public input, given the ideas, creativity, and true expertise like yours that we have in Bay View, especially for a location serves as a gateway to the neighborhood and major interchange between modes of transportation. It sounds like the design is settled / “done.” But the businesses directly adjacent are clearly not the only ones affected here, but everyone in the community who frequents that corner. —Annie Weidert

The discussion in Bay View - varieties of opinions, but a common ground: http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/BillSell/ArtStopOnFacebook


REFERENCES

Roman Montoto, 120712-BVAS_Presentation_MCTS.pdf - last known design of Mr. Montoto’s Urban Posturing, provided to the TSAC on July 12, 2012.

The Bay View Compass, http://bayviewcompass.com/archives/8665, http://bayviewcompass.com/archives/10073

Planetizen, http://www.planetizen.com/node/58529

Utility boxes with maps and art: http://www.ddaftl.org/view/pdf/PRutilityboxwraps0312.pdf

TSAC Recommendations in a PDF file

CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design):

Megan Carr. The TSAC is indebted to Ms. Carr, CPTED expert and urban space consultant, for her review of these Recommendations and her advice. Also, reference: http://civitae.com/

http://www.cpted.net/newsletters.html These newsletters are informative and visual - an outdoor piano?

NATURAL SURVEILLANCE

From Wikipedia, for the site’s complete summary of ArtStop-relevant CPTED guidelines: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_prevention_through_environmental_design#Natural_surveillance

Natural surveillance increases the threat of apprehension by taking steps to increase the perception that people can be seen. Natural surveillance occurs by designing the placement of physical features, activities and people in such a way as to maximize visibility and foster positive social interaction among legitimate users of private and public space. Potential offenders feel increased scrutiny and limitations on their escape routes.

  • Design streets to increase pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
  • Place windows overlooking sidewalks and parking lots.
  • Placing amenities such as seating or refreshments in common areas in a commercial or institutional setting helps to attract larger numbers of desired users.
  • Scheduling activities in common areas increases proper use, attracts more people and increases the perception that these areas are controlled.
  • Leave window shades open.
  • Use passing vehicular traffic as a surveillance asset.
  • Create landscape designs that provide surveillance, especially in proximity to designated points of entry and opportunistic points of entry.
  • Use the shortest, least sight-limiting fence appropriate for the situation.
  • Use transparent weather vestibules at building entrances.
  • When creating lighting design, avoid poorly placed lights that create blind-spots for potential observers and miss critical areas. Ensure potential problem areas are well lit: pathways, stairs, entrances/exits, parking areas, ATMs, phone kiosks, mailboxes, bus stops, children’s play areas, recreation areas, pools, laundry rooms, storage areas, dumpster and recycling areas, etc.
  • Avoid too-bright security lighting that creates blinding glare and/or deep shadows, hindering the view for potential observers. Eyes adapt to night lighting and have trouble adjusting to severe lighting disparities. Using lower intensity lights often requires more fixtures.
  • Use shielded or cut-off luminaires to control glare.
  • Place lighting along pathways and other pedestrian-use areas at proper heights for lighting the faces of the people in the space (and to identify the faces of potential attackers).
  • Natural surveillance measures can be complemented by mechanical and organizational measures. Cameras can be added in areas where window surveillance is unavailable.


THE TRANSIT SERVICES ADVISORY COMMITTEE, MEMBERS

Al Simonis, transit driver, steady hand President at ATU 998.

Angela Walker, transit driver, Outreach Coordinator ATU 998, a no-nonsense visionary.

Cheri McGrath, transit rider, clear-headed visionary on the things that really matter in life, ready to reach out a hand to help you learn the bus system.

Jeramey Jannene, transit rider, insightful Urban Milwaukee writer and founder, loves streetcars, too.

Joyce Tang Boyland, transit rider, professor in the Alverno Psychology Department, parent of bus riders, a head-full of URLs about public transportation and the curious behaviors of humans.

Patricia Lidicker, multi-committed volunteer, detail attentive, would love a job just riding buses and giving people directions.

Bill Sell, chair, transit rider, passionate fan of all public transportation, bicyclist, amiable gadfly who believes we will save our buses, build our streetcar, and ride a train to Madison.

Contact us: email

There may be a place for you on this committee. Interested? Contact us. Contact Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic, Milwaukee County Board.

Last edited by Bill Sell.   Page last modified on October 20, 2013

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